Yvan Muller was fifth fastest for Lynk & Co Cyan Racing in an extremely wet first practice session of the FIA World Touring Car Cup weekend at Suzuka in Japan.
The French driver was four tenths of a second from the fastest time and just 15 thousands of a second from fourth position.
Both Yvan Muller and team-mate Thed Björk struggled with power steering issues throughout the session, with the Swedish driver finishing 29th.
Andy Priaulx claimed position 14, with team-mate Yann Ehrlacher 19th.
The session was halted once as Cupra driver Aurelien Panis went off in the first corner, hitting the tyre barriers, due to the heavy rainfall.
The team has a short turnaround time for the second free practice session, starting at 10:15 local time/03:15 CEST.