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Magny-Cours, France --Eighteen of the twenty cars that will compete in the opening meeting of the FIA European Touring Car Championship took part in today's testing.

Only the two CiBiEmme Team Super Production Honda Civic Type-Rs of Sandro Sardelli and Salvatore Tavano did not run. They will hit the track on Saturday for free practice.

During the first session Fabrizio Giovanardi (Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 Gta) set the fastest time (also the best of the day) at 1:48.134, ahead of team-mate Nicola Larini 1'48"301, Paolo Ruberti (AGS Alfa Romeo 156 Gta) 1:48.802, Peter Kox (Motors BMW 320i) 1:49.130, Tom Coronel (Carly BMW 320i) 1:49.214, Rickard Rydell (Prodrive Volvo S60) 1:49.214, Gianni Morbidelli (Carly BMW 320i) 1:49.422, Jordi Gené (Ravaglia BMW 320i) 1:49.522 and the two Schnitzer BMW 320is of Dirk Müller and Jörg Müller (1:49.568 and 1:49.607). In the afternoon session Ruberti set the best time at 1:48.170 from Ekblom (RBM BMW 320i) 1:48.608, Kox 1:48.681, Fabrizio De Simone (Ravaglia BMW 320i) 1:48.866, Luis Villamil (Bigazzi Alfa Romeo 156 Gta) 1:48.941, D. Müller 1:49.107, Morbidelli 1:49.110, Larini 1:49.199, J. Müller 1:49.242 and Tommy Rustad (RJN Nissan Primera) 1:49.284.

Tomorrow it will be a day off for Touring Car competitors who will get the track back on Saturday for two practice sessions and their only qualifying session.
 
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