Kevin Magnussen topped Formula Renault 3.5 testing for the third time since the end of the season, as he led the way 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," he said. "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 toward 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
1. Kevin Magnussen DAMS 1m39.479s
2. Carlos Sainz AV Formula 1m39.617s + 0.138
3. Norman Nato Tech 1 1m39.649s + 0.170
4. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m40.017s + 0.538
5. Antonio Da Costa Arden Caterham 1m40.075s + 0.596
6. Stoffel Vandoorne DAMS 1m40.137s + 0.658
7. Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m40.268s + 0.789
8. Sergey Sirotkin ISR 1m40.313s + 0.834
9. Daniel Kvyat Fortec 1m40.351s + 0.872
10. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 1m40.417s + 0.938
11. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m40.443s + 0.964
12. Lucas Foresti Comtec 1m40.494s + 1.015
13. Paul-Loup Chatin Tech 1 1m40.553s + 1.074
14. Pietro Fantin P1 Motorsport 1m40.561s + 1.082
15. Yann Cunha Av Formula 1m40.630s + 1.151
16. Will Stevens Arden Caterham 1m40.643s + 1.164
17. Nikolay Martsenko Tech 1 1m40.663s + 1.184
18. Will Buller Comtec 1m40.702s + 1.223
19. Carlos Huertas Carlin 1m40.747s + 1.268
20. Josh Hill Fortec 1m40.753s + 1.274
21. Esteban Guerrieri ISR 1m40.947s + 1.468
22. Andre Negrao Draco 1m41.026s + 1.547
23. Matias Laine P1 Motorsport 1m41.101s + 1.622
24. Riccardo Agostini Draco 1m41.291s + 1.812
25. Tamas Pal Kiss BVM Target 1m41.750s + 2.271
26. Dimitry Suranovich Pons Racing 1m41.882s + 2.403