Richie Stanaway set the fastest time in the 45-minute free practice session for the opening round of the 2014 GP3 Series season at Barcelona.
The ex-Lotus Formula 1 junior was on the fringes of the top 10 for the majority of the session before vaulting to the top of the order with less than five minutes remaining.
His time of 1m36.357s was 0.329 seconds better than Roman de Beer's best effort, after he enjoyed a brief spell at the top of the timesheets before the Status Grand Prix driver improved.
Luis Sa Silva was another driver to make late gains to claim third, ahead of Marvin Kirchhofer, who had sat comfortably in first place before the top trio put in their fastest laps.
The reigning German Formula 3 champion was followed by 17-year-old Santiago Urrutia in the order and pre-season pacesetter Nick Yelloly, who had the most productive afternoon with 18 laps under his belt.
Red Bull-backed Alex Lynn began his debut GP3 season by finishing seventh, ahead of series returnee Dino Zamparelli.
Dean Stoneman marked his full-time return to single-seater racing with 17th for Manor Racing, while Jann Mardenborough finished 1.529s off the ultimate pace in 21st.
The session was briefly interrupted 20 minutes from its conclusion when rookie Ivan Taranov stopped on track after he spun his Hilmer Motorsport machine.
The Russian was able to restart under his own steam, causing only a two-minute red flag delay, and he eventually finished in 25th position.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Richie Stanaway Status 1m36.357s 17 2. Roman de Beer Trident 1m36.686s +0.329s 15 3. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1m36.789s +0.432s 14 4. Marvin Kirchhofer ART 1m36.817s +0.460s 13 5. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen 1m36.850s +0.493s 13 6. Nick Yelloly Status 1m36.886s +0.529s 18 7. Alex Lynn Carlin 1m36.950s +0.593s 14 8. Dino Zamparelli ART 1m36.987s +0.630s 15 9. Alex Fontana ART 1m37.027s +0.670s 14 10. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen 1m37.029s +0.672s 14 11. Emil Bernstorff Carlin 1m37.066s +0.709s 15 12. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer 1m37.095s +0.738s 15 13. Robert Visoiu Arden 1m37.169s +0.812s 15 14. Adderly Fong Jenzer 1m37.403s +1.046s 15 15. Pal Varhaug Jenzer 1m37.410s +1.053s 16 16. Patrick Kujala Manor 1m37.446s +1.089s 16 17. Dean Stoneman Manor 1m37.528s +1.171s 14 18. Victor Carbone Trident 1m37.646s +1.289s 16 19. Patric Niederhauser Arden 1m37.818s +1.461s 16 20. Beitske Visser Hilmer 1m37.872s +1.515s 17 21. Jann Mardenborough Arden 1m37.886s +1.529s 18 22. Alfonso Celis Jr Status 1m37.950s +1.593s 13 23. Denis Nagulin Trident 1m38.344s .+1.987s 18 24. Ryan Cullen Manor 1m38.406s +2.049s 16 25. Ivan Taranov Hilmer 1m38.858s +2.501s 16 26. Nelson Mason Hilmer 1m39.336s +2.979s 7 27. Carmen Jorda Koiranen 1m40.239s +3.882s 13