Derek Warwick jumped to the top of the times on the last lap of the final free practice session ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix Masters round at Silverstone, but the series continues to be beset by the engine problems which have struck since Thursday.
Only nine of the 15 drivers set a time as the Grand Prix Masters mechanics continue to toil to ready the Nicholson McLaren powerplants in all the cars for this afternoon's qualifying session.
"The car's pretty good, although I feel I'm overdriving a bit at the moment," said Warwick. "I wasn't particularly happy with my lap. I've just got to calm down and go a little bit quicker. Maybe I need a gin and tonic!"
Warwick's lap was a fraction slower than the times set yesterday by Nigel Mansell and Emerson Fittipaldi - of the two former World Champions, only the Brazilian appeared in this morning's session.
Riccardo Patrese headed the scoreboard for most of the second half of the session, but the Italian was forced to settle for second place, 0.37 seconds slower than Warwick. Christian Danner posted the third fastest time, with Fittipaldi, Jan Lammers (just 0.001 seconds behind Fittipaldi) and Stefan Johansson close at hand.
Eddie Cheever was a further second adrift, while Andrea de Cesaris and Rene Arnoux languished well off the pace.
GP Masters officials are staying cautiously optimistic that all 15 drivers will be able to take to the track in qualifying this afternoon, while admitting that a lot of hard work lies ahead.
Pos Driver Time
1. Derek Warwick 1:37.715
2. Riccardo Patrese 1:38.084
3. Christian Danner 1:38.163
4. Emerson Fittipaldi 1:38.362
5. Jan Lammers 1:38.363
6. Stefan Johansson 1:38.625
7. Eddie Cheever 1:39.670
8. Andrea de Cesaris 1:42.355
9. Rene Arnoux 1:48.462
Did not practice
Eric van de Poele