Hungaroring victor Vittorio Ghirelli set the fastest time in Friday morning free practice session on the Auto GP series' maiden visit to the Nurburgring.
The Italian's lap of 1m20.198s was a solid 0.483s faster than second-placed Super Nova team-mate Narain Karthikeyan.
Points leader Sergio Campana took third spot, edging out new Ibiza Racing team-mate Tamas Pal Kiss by 0.082s. Kiss switches across to Guiseppe Cipriani's team from Zele Racing.
Michael Zele's eponymous team, which fielded former grand prix driver Christian Klien in the preceding meeting at Mugello, is absent from the Nurburgring but is understood to be aiming for a return to the series at Donington in August.
Mugello on-the-road winner Meindert van Buuren was fifth. Continuing the team formation order at the head of the timing screens, the Dutchman's Manor MP Motorsport stable-mate Daniel de Jong completed the top six.
Auto GP debutant Roberto la Rocca finished a respectable eighth for new outfit Comtec by Virtuosi. Fresh from his Sauber Formula 1 test Kimiya Sato was ninth, albeit some 1.179s off Ghirelli's quickest time.
The Japanese racer is tied on 138 points in the championship with Campana, but is placed second on count-back owing to scoring fewer second places.
Former Superstars race winner Michela Cerruti finished the morning in 12th on her maiden Auto GP outing for MLR71.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Vittorio Ghirelli Super Nova 1m20.198s 28
2. Narain Karthikeyan Super Nova 1m20.681s +0.483s 24
3. Sergio Campana Ibiza Racing 1m20.935s +0.737s 26
4. Tamas Pal Kiss Ibiza Racing 1m21.017s +0.819s 23
5. Meindert van Buuren Manor MP 1m21.027s +0.829s 27
6. Daniel de Jong Manor MP 1m21.141s +0.943s 25
7. Kevin Giovesi Ghinzani 1m21.203s +1.005s 18
8. Roberto La Rocca Comtec By Virtuosi 1m21.295s +1.097s 24
9. Kimiya Sato Euronova 1m21.377s +1.179s 14
10. Yoshitaka Kuroda Euronova 1m21.518s +1.320s 23
11. Robert Visoiu Ghinzani 1m21.794s +1.596s 24
12. Michela Cerruti MLR 71 1m21.951s +1.753s 23
13. Andrea Roda Virtuosi UK 1m21.980s +1.782s 27
14. Max Snegirev Virtuosi UK 1m22.074s +1.876s 25
15. Michele La Rosa MLR 71 1m23.258s +3.060s 18