Formula 3 Euroseries frontrunner Dani Clos edged World Series by Renault regulars Miguel Molina and Marco Barba as the first day of Renault 3.5 testing got underway at Paul Ricard.
The Spaniard, on track for former champions Epsilon Euskadi, pumped in a best time of 1min 16.150secs on a day that was split between promising newcomers and invited guests of Renault.
The morning session was largely made up of drivers who had shone in various Renault-sponsored championships around the world, but it would be British Formula Renault driver Riki Christodoulou that would emerge almost half a second better than the opposition driving for Comtec.
He edged out Spaniard Antonio DaCosta in the title winning P1 Motorsport car, while regular World Series racer Barba got amongst them in third place. Albert Costa and Clos rounded out the top five.
Elsewhere in the morning session, Greg Mansell was a solid tenth best in the Ultimate Signature car, while Fortec's Formula Renault Eurocup driver Dean Smith recorded the 13th best time.
The quicker afternoon session was made up of more recognisable names, not least Clos who edged out Barba and Molina, while Daniel Ricciardo had the fillip of being the best placed Formula Renault graduate with Carlin Motorsport in fourth.
Christodoulou, whose cousin won the Formula Renault UK Championship this year, returned to the track to record the fifth best time, ahead of Eurocup standout Roberto Merhi.
Epsilon Euskadi driver Alexandre Marsoin had a run out with two-time World Series title winners Tech 1 Racing and went seventh best, with Dean Smith, Walter Grubmuller (P1) and Esteban Guerrieri (Ultimate) rounding out the top ten.
Meanwhile, Mansell was 11th best, with Max Chilton 15th for Comtec and Oliver Turvey 19th for Carlin, albeit only after managing 12 laps.