Rene Binder controlled Formula V8 3.5 first practice to top the time sheets at his home circuit of Red Bull Ring at the series' sixth round at the Austrian circuit.
The Lotus driver stormed to a 1m 17.596s to outpace Egor Orudzhev by two tenths-of-a-second over one rotation, setting his fastest lap in the latter minutes of morning practice.
Louis Deletraz was third for Fortec Motorsports and the fastest rookie on track while two-time race winner Roy Nissany was fourth in the second Lotus challenger. Meanwhile, Tom Dillmann and a returning Matevos Isaakyan were separated by mere tenths for fifth and sixth respectively.
Yu Kanamaru ended morning running seventh fastest with Matthieu Vaxiviere, Alfonso Celis Jr and Beitske Visser completing the top ten.
Marco Bonanomi was 14th fastest during his first practice of the 2016 FV8 season, taking part in the European-based series for the first time since 2008.
Friday practice continues in Austria.