Prema Powerteam set the pace on the first day of collective testing for the World Series by Renault at the Nurburgring.

Returning from a lengthy summer break, the grid witnesses two driver changes this weekend as Paolo Nocera takes over from Duncan Tappy at RC Motorsport, while KTR have filled one of their two vacant seats with youngster Siso Cunill following the withdrawal of Guillaume Moreau and Daniil Move.

It was Miguel Molina and Alvaro Barba that led the way on the return to action though, the Spanish pairing topping both of the day's sessions, the latter coming away with the best lap of all.

His time of 1min 45.259secs was half a second quicker than his team-mate's effort in the morning, but with Molina proving fifth quickest overall anyway, Prema are looking to prove themselves as the team to beat two years on from their maiden World Series win at the same circuit with Christian Montanari at the wheel.

Bertrand Baguette was the best of the regular frontrunners in second, the Belgian driver holding off James Walker, the Brit putting in one of his most notable performances of the season in third for Fortec.

Marco Bonanomi was another to show well throughout the day to go fourth best, ahead of Molina, Fairuz Fauzy in the second Fortec car, Charles Pic and Marco Barba. Last year's front-row sitter Mikhail Aleshin was ninth best in the Carlin car, while Esteban Guerrieri rounded out the top ten in the Ultimate Signature car.

Of the title contenders, Giedo van der Garde was only 23rd best after being forced to sit out the quicker afternoon session while his P1 Motorsport crew changed his engine. Closest rival Julien Jousse was similarly off the pace in 24th after completing only four laps himself. Hungaroring winner Fabio Carbone was 11th best, with Salvador Duran 19th.

The day was not without incident though with a total five red flags for Epsilon Euskadi duo Alexandre Marsoin and Mario Romancini, while newcomer Cunill, van der Garde and Pippa Mann were also responsible for the session being stopped.

Free practice resumes on Friday, before qualifying on Saturday. The two races will take place on Saturday and Sunday.