Marlon Stockinger's early morning pace could not be matched as he topped the overall practice time sheets at the eighth round of the Formula Renault 3.5 championship at Paul Ricard.

The Lotus F1 junior, who has secured two podiums thus far this year, proved to be an unstoppable force, leading both the morning and afternoon sessions. Strakka Racing's Matias Laine was a surprise addition to the top two, less than a tenth behind on the cooling track.

Jazeman Jaafar was third fastest in the only running ISR challenger with Oliver Rowland dropping one position to fourth for Fortec Motorsports.

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Norman Nato got the better of his DAMS partner Carlos Sainz Jr to sit fifth fastest at the chequered flag while Matthieu Vaxiviere, who returned from a serious back injury in July, was sixth.

In seventh, Luca Ghiotto was the third fastest rookie for International Draco Racing with championship contender Roberto Merhi eighth. Merhi is without a team mate at Paul Ricard after Roman Mavlanov switched his focus to GT racing this weekend.

Oscar Tunjo gained the most positions after knocking almost a second of his earlier time. The Columbian showed significant improvement as he climbed through the order on a cooling track to sit ninth for Pons Racing. Sergey Sirotkin completed the top ten.

Long time leader of the afternoon session, Strakka Racing's Will Stevens plummeted down the order in the latter stages to fall outside the top ten. An out-of-position Carlos Sainz Jr and his fellow Red Bull youngster Pierre Gasly were also the big names outside the top ten.