Alex MacDowall set the fastest lap in the first outing for the WTCC drivers at Sonoma. The 30-minute test lasted only 26 minutes before being red flagged when Felice Tedeschi crashed at Turn 4.
Yvan Muller was the first one to time a significant lap of 1:49.891, ten minutes into the session. A few moment later Alain Menu improved to 1:49.373 and then Pepe Oriola moved the mark further ahead to 1:48.609.
With twelve minutes left on the clock MacDowall clocked a lap of 1:48.281 that eventually remained the fastest as the red flag shortened the session by four minutes.
Tedeschi went wide at Turn 4 and his Proteam BMW 320 TC hit the wall and rolled; the Italian newcomer had struggled from the beginning, spinning three times at Turn 2 before the crash. Despite the hard crash, Tedeschi was unscathed.
Fernando Monje set an impressive third fastest lap of 1:48.979, demoting Muller to fourth in the fastest of the Chevrolet cars. While Stefano D’Aste was the best of the BMW drivers, ranking eighth with a lap of 1:49.449. James Nash's Ford was timed at 1:50.270 and classified 14th.