Two tries by Springbok scrumhalf Cobus Reinach helped lead Montpellier to victory in Paris in front of the onlooking Springbok touring party.
In a match with Handre Pollard playing at inside centre, Montpellier put in a composed display to cruise to a 32-21 victory.
The Springboks are in France for the next week to avoid a coronavirus quarantine in Britain before facing Wales on 6 November.
The likes of Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi and utility back Francois Steyn, who played for both the French clubs, watched from the La Defense Arena stands as Reinach staked his claim for a starting berth next month with regular scrumhalf Faf de Klerk missing through injury.
The Springboks also head to Scotland on 13 November before travelling to England a week later in a rerun of the 2019 World Cup final.
Reinach (31) who will join up with the Boks before the trip to Cardiff, opened the scoring after five minutes, diving over from short range.
His club and international teammate Handre Pollard started at centre for the first time since May 2018 and kicked a 55-metre penalty goal.
The former Northampton Saints halfback completed his double just before the interval with a superb 80m effort where he outsprinted Argentina wing Juan Imhoff after having ripped possession from Racing’s No 8, Yoan Tanga.
Pollard, who suffered a serious knee injury on the same pitch in September 2020, failed to repeat his first-half exploit as he missed a long-range penalty with 10 minutes to play but Montpellier held on to move up to seventh on the table.