The three Chevrolet Cruzes enjoyed a smooth start to the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) finale in Macau, as Rob Huff ended a trouble-free, cool opening practice day an encouraging third-fastest.

The Englishman and team-mates Alain Menu (ninth-quickest) and Nicola Larini (eleventh) all worked hard on finding the best set-up and car balance for both the circuit and the conditions - given that the Cruze is making its competitive bow around the popular Aut?dromo da Guia, winding around the streets of the former Portuguese enclave.

Indeed, the Cruze has a strong record to uphold in Macau, given that its predecessor the Lacetti was undefeated in qualifying in the Chinese city in both of its final two appearances in 2007 and 2008 and triumphed in three of the four encounters in those years - twice in the hands of Menu and once courtesy of Huff.

However, the track is well-known for throwing up surprises, unexpected incidents and unpredictable results - and with Huff still hoping to be able to overhaul BMW rival Andy Priaulx to pinch fourth in the final title standings and the honour of top Brit for the second consecutive season, the 29-year-old will clearly be hoping the dice role his way in the tense decider.