Tio Ellinas topped the timesheets over both days of the Formula Renault 3.5 testing in Jerez.

The Strakka Racing driver was fastest on Friday with a hot lap of 1m 28.260s during the morning session. His time couldn't be beaten in the afternoon, with Frenchman Matthieu Vaxiviere coming closest with a 1m 28.759s.

Day two of the FR3.5 test was officially used to run the series new low-downforce set-up which will be mandatory for Saturday qualifying as well as race one.

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Chart-topper Ellinas, who was also quickest on Thursday, says he expects a tough challenge this season with a number of drivers all gunning for the championship title.

"We were on top the charts from the start while working on the balance and the set-ups for the car," Ellinas said. "This season, the competition is very high but the goal is obviously the title, or at least the top three."

The two-day test was frequently punctuated by red flags with a number of drivers spinning off the Jerez track, while other cars also needed recovering after stopping on the circuit.

Further down the field several early championship favourites had difficult tests as they got to grips with the new FR3.5 cars. British duo Oliver Rowland (12th) and 2014 GP3 runner-up Dean Stoneman (19th) both suffered heavy crashes, with Stoneman's DAMS team working through the Thursday night to repair the car for day two.

Despite Ellinas gaining an early advantage, the Cypriot driver is certain the rest of the pack with tighten the gap before the first round of 2015 in Aragon on the 25-26 April.

"We have gotten off to a good start to the season at Jerez," he said. "The team worked hard on the set-ups, as much with high-downforce as low-downforce. With the low configuration, you have to really find your braking points and the high-speed corners are trickier, but I am convinced that everyone will get used to this as the level is high."

The FR3.5 teams will now have time to analyse the data collected from Jerez and work on improvements ahead of the next collective test, which will be held at the season-opening venue Aragon on the 30-31 March.