Robert Wickens is confident that his World Series by Renault season picks up this weekend after he scored the fastest time in free practice at Silverstone.

With the 26 drivers getting the chance of an extra day's running on the Thursday, Wickens topped the faster second session to give home favourites Carlin Motorsport an ideal start to the weekend.

Wickens, who recognises the circuit from testing with A1 Team Canada last year, edged out Fabio Carbone, the former British F3 racer showing he hasn't forgotten too much about Silverstone having not raced there since 2002, by going second.

Spa winner Bertrand Baguette was third fastest, ahead of Tech 1 Racing's Julien Jousse, while British favourite James Walker got his home round off to a good start with a run to the fifth best time.

Mikhail Aleshin was sixth best in the second Carlin, ahead of the Barba brothers, Alvaro ahead of Marco. Fairuz Fauzy and Monaco winner Charles Pic rounded out the top ten.

Elsewhere, championship leader and morning session pace setter Giedo van der Garde was only 16th fastest, although he only completed six laps having been initially fastest.

Newcomers this weekend include Esteban Guerrieri, who was 13th fastest for Ultimate Signature, while Duncan Tappy was 24th fastest on what is his first outing in the World Series for RC Motorsport.