Raffaele Marciello kick-started his bid to atone for his dismal Zandvoort performance last time out by topping the Formula 3 European Championship test day at Vallelunga.
Six hours of running were scheduled for Friday, and narrow points leader Marciello pumped in a lap 0.159 seconds clear of the opposition in the afternoon session with his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes.
The first hour in the morning was run in wet conditions before the track dried up. The afternoon session was interrupted by numerous red flags, with late incidents for Sven Muller and Roy Nissany scotching the anticipated flurry of times on new tyres.
With most drivers only getting one or two flying laps at the end, Marciello's main title rival Felix Rosenqvist was one of only two drivers to improve, vaulting five places to 10th on a day when the Swede and his Mucke Motorsport team-mates languished further down the order than expected.
Alexander Sims, who like Marciello had a disappointing Zandvoort, provided encouragement for the ThreeBond/Nissan-powered T-Sport squad by going second fastest.
Russian Daniil Kvyat, who was fastest in the three-hour morning session, improved only by a few hundredths in the afternoon to head the flotilla of Carlin Dallara-Volkswagens in third.
Team-mates Jordan King and Nicholas Latifi were close at hand in fourth and sixth respectively, Canadian Latifi relying on his morning time, which had put him third at the lunch break.
The second Prema car of Alex Lynn got in between Carlin's lead trio by setting the fifth-best time, putting him two places ahead of team-mate Lucas Auer. Pipo Derani (Fortec) and Muller (Van Amersfoort) were next up, ahead of Rosenqvist.
Two more Britons were just outside the top 10, Carlin pair Jann Mardenborough and Harry Tincknell going 11th and 12th respectively, with compatriot Tom Blomqvist 19th in his EuroInternational machine.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 1m29.220s 2. Alexander Sims T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1m29.379s +0.159s 3. Daniil Kvyat Carlin Dallara-VW 1m29.454s +0.234s 4. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 1m29.524s +0.304s 5. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 1m29.545s +0.325s 6. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 1m29.660s +0.440s 7. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc 1m29.686s +0.466s 8. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m29.790s +0.570s 9. Sven Muller Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 1m29.800s +0.580s 10. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m29.823s +0.603s 11. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW 1m29.843s +0.623s 12. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 1m29.906s +0.686s 13. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 1m29.923s +0.703s 14. Andre Rudersdorf Ma-Con Dallara-VW 1m29.939s +0.719s 15. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1m29.996s +0.776s 16. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m30.073s +0.853s 17. Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Merc 1m30.089s +0.869s 18. Michael Lewis Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m30.190s +0.970s 19. Tom Blomqvist EuroInternational Dallara-Merc 1m30.213s +0.993s 20. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc 1m30.237s +1.017s 21. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m30.436s +1.216s 22. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m30.591s +1.371s 23. Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m30.610s +1.390s 24. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc 1m30.807s +1.587s 25. Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc 1m31.116s +1.896s 26. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc 1m31.119s +1.899s 27. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc 1m31.399s +2.179s