Mitch Evans topped free practice on the debut appearance of the GP3 series at Monaco, setting a stunning pace in what proved to be the final seconds of the session.
The MW Arden driver looked set to miss out on top spot to Carlin's Antonio Felix da Costa after heading the times during the middle stages of the 40-minute session. But Evans repeatedly set fastest times in the middle sector, eventually stringing together a lap which was a remarkable seven-tenths of a second better than the Portuguese. He ended up setting fastest times overall in both the second and third sectors, showing that his place on top of the times was no fluke.
Evans set his time with three minutes to go just before red flags brought proceedings to a premature end when Carlin driver Will Buller spun entering Casino Square. Buller kept the car out of the barriers, but didn't have enough space to recover and had to rely on the marshals to recover him.
With Evans the only driver to break the 1m29s barrier, da Costa held onto second place ahead of Conor Daly. Finnish driver Aaro Vainio, quickest overall in sector one, was fourth fastest.
Sometime GP2 driver Kevin Ceccon ended up fifth, just ahead of Alex Brundle, the son of ex-grand prix driver Martin Brundle.
Despite the fact that the vast majority of the 26-car field were Monaco rookies, there were few incidents other than Buller's. Marussia Manor Racing driver Dmitry Suranovich spun at Rascasse with five minutes to go, triggering a yellow flag that forced several drivers to abandon their laps, but beyond that it was an impressively clean session.