Rickard Rydell posted the quickest time in the opening practice session for the World Touring Car Championship on the streets of Pau.

In wet weather conditions in the French city, the SEAT man posted a time of 1min 36.923secs during the session which allowed him to just edge out 2007 race winner Augusto Farfus; the BMW ending up just 0.006secs behind the Swede. Points leader Gabriele Tarquini was third fastest ahead of James Thompson who benefitted from a reduction in weight on the N.Technology Honda to finish fourth. Nicola Larini and Andy Priaulx completed the top six.

In tricky conditions there were a number of incidents at turn two, with Laurent Cazenave, Tarquini, Rydell, Alain Menu and Oscar Nogu?s all having moments.

In the final five minutes Rob Huff crashed into the barrier at turn eight, damaging the left side of his car and being forced to stop on the pit straight as the session came to a close.

Of the Independents, Stefano D'Aste set the fastest time in thirteenth position overall, ahead of his team-mate Sergio Hernandez.

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