GP3 Series leader Esteban Gutierrez was quickest in today's opening practice session at Silverstone, but it took a last-gasp effort from the ART driver to do the job.
Gutierrez used the final flying lap of the session to knock out a 1m53.547s effort, edging Manor's James Jakes from the top spot by a scant 0.008s.
The top four were covered by less than 0.1s, with Dean Smith and Adrian Quiafe-Hobbs coming in just 0.06s shy of Gutierrez's effort, while Oliver Oakes made it four British drivers in the top five.
Gutierrez's closest title rival, Robert Wickens of Status, endured a difficult afternoon and found himself at the bottom of the timesheet.
The Canadian is carrying a 10-place grid penalty into this weekend's race from the previous round at Valencia.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m53.547s 2. James Jakes Manor 1m53.555s + 0.008s 3. Dean Smith Carlin 1m53.607s + 0.060s 4. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Manor 1m53.610s + 0.063s 5. Oliver Oakes Atech CRS 1m53.823s + 0.276s 6. Nigel Melker RSC Mucke 1m53.834s + 0.287s 7. Renger van der Zande RSC Mucke 1m53.948s + 0.401s 8. Nico Muller Jenzer 1m53.981s + 0.434s 9. Roberto Merhi Atech CRS 1m54.073s + 0.526s 10. Daniel Morad Status 1m54.170s + 0.623s 11. Josef Newgarden Carlin 1m54.253s + 0.706s 12. Michael Christensen MW Arden 1m54.388s + 0.841s 13. Alexander Rossi ART 1m54.435s + 0.888s 14. Felipe Guimaraes Addax 1m54.557s + 1.010s 15. Pablo Sanchez Lopez Addax 1m54.676s + 1.129s 16. Rio Haryanto Manor 1m54.848s + 1.301s 17. Simon Trummer Jenzer 1m54.953s + 1.406s 18. Daniel Juncadella Tech 1 1m55.030s + 1.483s 19. Pal Varhaug Jenzer 1m55.160s + 1.613s 20. Miki Monras MW Arden 1m55.217s + 1.670s 21. Lucas Foresti Carlin 1m55.434s + 1.887s 22. Mirko Bortolotti Addax 1m55.461s + 1.914s 23. Stefano Coletti Tech 1 1m55.557s + 2.010s 24. Doru Sechelariu Tech 1 1m55.621s + 2.074s 25. Pedro Nunes ART 1m55.670s + 2.123s 26. Leonardo Cordeiro MW Arden 1m55.737s + 2.190s 27. Ivan Lukashevich Status 1m55.780s + 2.233s 28. Tobias Hegewald RSC Mucke 1m56.389s + 2.842s 29. Vittorio Ghirelli Atech CRS 1m57.420s + 3.873s 30. Robert Wickens Status 1m57.476s + 3.929s