Kevin Magnussen topped Formula Renault 3.5 testing for the third time since the end of the season, as he led the way for DAMS on day two of this week's Aragon test.
The McLaren junior driver improved on his time from Wednesday by half a second on Thursday morning, giving him the edge over Formula 3 convert Carlos Sainz Jr with new team AV Formula.
Formula Renault 2.0 racer Norman Nato was third fastest for Tech 1, while the top five was rounded out by 2012 FR3.5 race winners Marco Sorensen and Antonio Felix da Costa. The latter was back in action just four days after his Macau Grand Prix victory.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who has confirmed that he will step up from the Formula Renault Eurocup to FR3.5 next year, was sixth fastest, making good on his promise that he would improve on being 20th on a troubled opening day.
Magnussen, who will sit out the final day of the test on Friday, said: "I did some Formula 1 testing for McLaren in Abu Dhabi and it took me a while to find my bearings again in the Formula Renault 3.5.
"The DAMS car was perfect. You don't get any points for it, but it's nice to end the season in first place."
Red Bull junior da Costa admitted that he was not at full strength on his return to FR3.5, but he had wanted to get back out in the car he won four races in towards the end of the 2012 season.
"What with the F1 testing with Red Bull and then my win in Macau, I've been pretty busy in the last few weeks and physically I wasn't 100 per cent today," said the Portuguese driver.
"It's not official yet, but there's every chance I'll be driving here in 2013. That's why it was important for me to get back in the car before the winter break."
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Kevin Magnussen DAMS 1m39.479s 2. Carlos Sainz AV Formula 1m39.617s + 0.138s 3. Norman Nato Tech 1 1m39.649s + 0.170s 4. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m40.017s + 0.538s 5. Antonio Da Costa Arden Caterham 1m40.075s + 0.596s 6. Stoffel Vandoorne DAMS 1m40.137s + 0.658s 7. Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m40.268s + 0.789s 8. Sergey Sirotkin ISR 1m40.313s + 0.834s 9. Daniel Kvyat Fortec 1m40.351s + 0.872s 10. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 1m40.417s + 0.938s 11. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m40.443s + 0.964s 12. Lucas Foresti Comtec 1m40.494s + 1.015s 13. Paul-Loup Chatin Tech 1 1m40.553s + 1.074s 14. Pietro Fantin P1 1m40.561s + 1.082s 15. Yann Cunha AV Formula 1m40.630s + 1.151s 16. Will Stevens Arden Caterham 1m40.643s + 1.164s 17. Nikolay Martsenko Tech 1 1m40.663s + 1.184s 18. Will Buller Comtec 1m40.702s + 1.223s 19. Carlos Huertas Carlin 1m40.747s + 1.268s 20. Josh Hill Fortec 1m40.753s + 1.274s 21. Esteban Guerrieri ISR 1m40.947s + 1.468s 22. Andre Negrao Draco 1m41.026s + 1.547s 23. Matias Laine P1 1m41.101s + 1.622s 24. Riccardo Agostini Draco 1m41.291s + 1.812s 25. Tamas Pal Kiss BVM Target 1m41.750s + 2.271s 26. Dimitry Suranovich Pons 1m41.882s + 2.403s