Alain Menu beat his Chevrolet teammates and championship rivals to top the timesheets as the World Touring Car Championship got back underway with a test session at Curitiba in Brazil.

The trio of Rob Huff, Yvan Muller and Huff quickly moved to the top in the 30 minute session, and Huff went a second clear of the field in the final ten minutes.

Menu then moved 0.173 seconds ahead of Huff at the end of the session, before points leader Muller pulled himself back up into third with a time exactly two tenths slower than Menu's.

Gabriele Tarquini, recently signed by Honda for 2013, was the best of the rest in his SEAT, eight tenths away from Menu.

Carlisle's Alex MacDowall was fifth quickest in his Chevrolet Cruze on his first visit to Curitiba, half a second ahead of his last-minute teammate at bamboo engineering for this weekend, Michel Nykjaer.

Tom Coronel edged out Stefano D'Aste by 0.04s to be the top BMW in seventh overall. Tiago Monteiro, at his penultimate race before joining Honda, was two seconds off the pace in ninth ahead of Tom Chilton in the best of the two Team Aon Fords.

Norbert Michelisz was 11th ahead of fellow BMW driver Alberto Cerqui, with Darryl O'Young 13th in his Special Tuning Racing ahead of the similar Lukoil Racing machine of Aleksei Dudukalo.

Mehdi Bennani and Franz Engstler were next up, ahead of Aon's James Nash. Charles Ng was 18th, with the timesheets propped up by the SEAT trio of Tom Boardman, Pepe Oriola and newly-crowned European champion Fernando Monje.