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Sebastien Loeb has opened up the first round of the 2014 World Touring Car Championship around the streets of Marrakech with the fastest time in first free practice, ahead of reigning champion Yvan Muller.

The rallying legend, who makes his WTCC debut this weekend as part of Citroen's much anticipated move into touring car racing, was just over two tenths faster than illustrious team-mate Muller in the new C-Elysee saloon.

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Tom Coronel headed up the best of the rest in third position, more than a second adrift of Loeb, though the Dutchman did bring the session to a premature end when he lost his ROAL Chevrolet on the exit of the chicane and spun into the wall.

Fellow Cruze drivers Hugo Valente, Tom Chilton and Dusan Borkovic followed in fourth, fifth and sixth, with local hero Mehdi Bennani heading up the Honda charge in his privateer Proteam Civic.