Alex Lynn was fastest over two sessions of free practice for the penultimate round of the Formula 3 European Championship at Vallelunga.
On a wet track, but with everyone on slick tyres, the Englishman's Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes was as much as two seconds clear of the opposition, before team-mate Lucas Auer trimmed the gap to just under two tenths.
Antonio Giovinazzi, usually quick in tricky conditions, went third fastest in his Double R Racing machine.
With a shower of rain falling before the two back-to-back sessions kicked off, the first period featured only half the field running on rain tyres, before the remainder joined in later on with slick Hankooks.
On a gradually drying track in the second period, slick-shod Lynn was the first to lap beneath Daniil Kvyat's session-topping time from the opening half-hour.
The Russian was one of a handful of drivers to fall off in the second session, leaving him marooned near the foot of the times, although his earlier best put him 11th overall.
Title fighters Raffaele Marciello and Felix Rosenqvist were left in the lower reaches of the top 10.
Marciello and his Prema team will not have been too concerned at the fact that the sessions were wet - they had two days of testing at Vallelunga earlier in the season before the Italian venue was added as a championship round.
But it's a different story for Rosenqvist and the Mucke Motorsport squad, who were struggling for pace in Friday's test sessions and who - in common with most of the teams - have no prior experience of the circuit.
Combined times: Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 1m39.457s 2. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc 1m39.628s +0.171s 3. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc 1m40.089s +0.632s 4. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 1m40.203s +0.746s 5. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 1m40.419s +0.962s 6. Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Merc 1m40.437s +0.980s 7. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 1m40.487s +1.030s 8. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 1m40.493s +1.036s 9. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m40.573s +1.116s 10. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m40.836s +1.379s 11. Daniil Kvyat Carlin Dallara-VW 1m40.884s +1.427s 12. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc 1m40.893s +1.436s 13. Alexander Sims T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1m40.951s +1.494s 14. Tom Blomqvist EuroInternational Dallara-Merc 1m41.000s +1.543s 15. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m41.158s +1.701s 16. Sven Muller Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 1m41.175s +1.718s 17. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m41.212s +1.755s 18. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 1m41.414s +1.957s 19. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc 1m42.159s +2.702s 20. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc 1m42.454s +2.997s 21. Michael Lewis Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m42.483s +3.026s 22. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW 1m42.890s +3.433s 23. Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m43.178s +3.721s 24. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1m43.573s +4.116s 25. Andre Rudersdorf Ma-Con Dallara-VW 1m44.424s +4.967s 26. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc 1m44.628s +5.171s 27. Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc 1m48.372s +8.915s