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Pierre Gasly gave PREMA Racing the honour of topping its maiden GP2 session as the Frenchman opened the 2016 season by leading the way in free practice around the Circuit de Catalunya.

Stepping up to GP2 this season having enjoyed significant success at European Formula 3 Championship level in recent years, PREMA Racing immediately introduced itself to its new rivals by hitting the front early on in the session with Red Bull Junior Gasly at the wheel.

With the best times coming from the initial stages, Gasly held firm at the top of the timesheets to the Virtual Safety Car instigated conclusion, a tenth up on former team-mate Alex Lynn in second place, with Russian Time's Artem Markelov completing the top three.

A pace setter in pre-season testing Norman Nato was fourth fastest in the Racing Engineering car, ahead of Renault development driver Sergey Sirotkin and Manor F1 test driver Jordan King.

F3 graduate Antonio Giovinazzi emerged as top rookie in the second of the Prema cars, ahead of Honda junior Nobuharu Matushita, Oliver Rowland and Marvin