BRDC Formula 4 champion Jake Hughes put in a strong performance in his prize Formula 3 test with Carlin.
The 19-year-old from Birmingham, who was a McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award finalist, lapped Valencia close to the pace set by leading F3 European Championship racers who were out on the same day.
Hughes was driving an older-spec Dallara-Volkswagen F308, and completed 90 laps.
"That was one of the best experiences of my life - the car is unbelievable," he said.
"I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive having not driven an F3 car before, but once I was in the car it felt like business as usual.
"Out of the box I didn't feel too intimidated and I could just focus on my driving and getting used to the car.
"I managed to build up my speed well throughout the day and set my quickest time right at the end. I'm not far off the ultimate pace already and I think I would be able to get a few more tenths off my time if I were to have another go."
Team boss Trevor Carlin said: "Jake did a great job. We did some brake training in the factory before the test, which I think helped him.
"After using his first run to familiarise himself with the car this morning, we put some better tyres on and Jake responded well to that.
"Throughout the day he did everything he was told, accepted any advice to go quicker and quicker and asked the right questions at the right time.
"It was a pleasure to have him in the car and I think he can be proud of his performance."
Hughes is looking most likely to compete in the Formula Renault North European Cup next season, and has tested with Mark Burdett Motorsport and Fortec Motorsport.