Having clinched the title with Alvaro Parente in the season finale at Barcelona, Tech 1 continued to lead the way into the World Series by Renault off-season after Charles Pic led the way on the first day of a three day test session at Paul Ricard.

The Formula Renault graduate quickly got to grips with the car on what was the first of two days for him in the Tech 1 machine and he posted a time four tenths of a second quicker than Carlo van Dam, who slotted into second for Comtec.

"I gradually went on the attack and I only put in my fastest lap once my tyres were performing at their peak," Pic said. "I've still got lots of work to do, but this result is encouraging. Everything worked well with the team who guided me well when it came to getting the most out of the car."

van Dam was making his return to the Comtec line-up having driven for the team in the past and he was pleased with his time, which was only just ahead of Draco's Bertrand Baguette.

"I'm happy to be back with Comtec, after already having driven for them at the end of 2006," he said. "I got a few laps in at the end of the morning and everything went well straight away. I didn't get much track time in this afternoon because of a brake problem, but I'm satisfied with my times. I should have been testing with Fortec in Valencia but the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 is my number one objective for 2008."

Dutchman Renger van der Zande was fourth for the Prema team ahead of countryman Yelmer Buurman and Daniil Move - who ensured both Comtec machines ended the day inside the top six. Move will run with RC Motosport and Tech 1 during the remainder of the test.

World Series by Renault testing times: Day 1 - Paul Ricard:

1. Charles Pic Tech 1 1m 16.156s
2. Carlo van Dam Comtec 1m 15.500s
3. Bertrand Baguette Draco Racing Team 1m 16.549s
4. Renger van der Zande Prema FRenault 1m 16.648s
5. Yelmer Buurman Fortec 1m 16.668s
6. Daniil Move Comtec 1m 16.881s
7. Michael Herck PONS 1m 16.976s
8. Tobias Hegewald Interwetten 1m 17.079s
9. Marco Bonanoni RC MSport 1m 17.118s
10. Aleix Alcaraz PONS 1m 17.205s
11. Craig Dolby Fortec 1m 17.223s
12. Marco Barba Draco Racing Team 1m 17.359s
13. Xavier Maassen KTR 1m 17.380s
14. Brendon Hartley Carlin 1m 17.412s
15. Robert Mehri Epsilon Euskadi 1m 17.589s
16. Mika Maki Epsilon Euskadi 1m 17.624s
17. Pippa Mann Cram 1m 17.628s
18. Johnny Cecotto RC MSport 1m 17.679s
19. Simeon Ivanov Prema FRenault 1m 18.008s
20. Jonathan Hirschi Tech 1 1m 18.053s
21. Marcello Pugliesi Cram 1m 18.103s
22. Dim Raikhlin Interwetten 1m 19.136s
23. Alexandre Imperatori KTR 1m 19.169s