Walter Grubm?ller underlined his recent Hockenheim pace by setting fastest time of the day at the latest British F3 group test, at Snetterton ahead of next weekend's ninth and tenth championship rounds.

The Hitech Racing-run Austrian relied on his morning time to top the combined overall times, with Carlin duo Daniel Ricciardo and Max Chilton leading the way in the afternoon but failing to better the early benchmark.

Grubm?ller, who finally broke his victory duck with Hitech's Mercedes-powered Dallara at Hockenheim in the last championship double-header, set the pace with a 1min 01.434secs effort, which proved just over a tenth better than anyone else could manage during a hot and dry day at the Norfolk venue.

Ricciardo, still the points leader after the awayday in Germany, came closest to toppling Grubmuller in both sessions, running second to the Austrian before lunch, then coming up just short of his own best in the second session.

"I think we found some things that worked today, and some things that didn't, which I guess is what testing is about," the Australian, who has not won since round four at Silverstone, reported, "It was a good boost to finish the afternoon at the top of the timesheets, but we're still looking to make further improvements - we still have some work to do to pull out a gap before the race."

Chilton, who claimed that he had found both a good qualifying set-up and worked well on race preparation on old rubber, ended the day third fastest after finding half a second in the afternoon session, while Grubmuller's team-mate, Renger van der Zande, and Fortec's Riki Christodoulou rounded out the top five.

As expected, Nick Tandy was the best non-Dallara runner, putting the JTR Mygale into eighth spot, while Carlin's new signing, Canadian Philip Major, ended his first test with the team in 16th place overall.

The leading National Class runner was T-Sport's Gabriel Dias, who took a creditable twelfth overall, half a second clear of main rival Daniel McKenzie.

The series returns to Snetterton for rounds nine and ten of the season over the weekend of 4-5 July.

Leading performances (23 June) - Snetterton:

Walter Grubm?ller Hitech Dallara-Mercedes 1m 01.434s / 1m 01.599s Daniel Ricciardo Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 01.546s / 1m 01.557s Max Chilton Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 01.616s / 1m 01.565s Renger van der Zande Hitech Dallara-Mercedes 1m 01.568s / 1m 01.654s Riki Christodoulou Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 01.830s / 1m 01.626s Henry Arundel Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 01.981s / 1m 01.779s Victor Garcia Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 02.364s / 1m 01.838s Nick Tandy JTR Mygale-Mercedes 1m 01.841s / 1m 02.126s Daisuke Nakajima RRR Dallara-Mercedes 1m 01.932s / 1m 01.871s Adriano Buzaid T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 01.894s / 1m 02.107s Carlos Huertas RRR Dallara-Mercedes 1m 01.920s / 1m 01.964s Gabriel Dias T-Sport Dallara-Mugen 1m 02.246s / 1m 02.125s* Jay Bridger Litespeed Mygale-Mugen 1m 02.653s / 1m 02.135s Wayne Boyd T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 02.254s / 1m 02.315s Hywel Lloyd CF Racing Dallara-Mugen 1m 02.943s / 1m 02.265s Philip Major Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 02.804s / 1m 02.581s Daniel McKenzie Fortec Dallara-Mugen 1m 02.751s / 1m 02.639s* St?phane Richelmi Barazi-Epsilon Dallara-Mercedes 1m 02.650s / 1m 02.694s Victor Correa Litespeed Litespeed-Mugen 1m 04.238s / 1m 04.009s* Max Snegirev West-Tec Dallara-Mugen 1m 04.364s / 1m 04.124s*

* denotes National Class runner; times shown AM/PM with fastest in italics


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