Britain’s Jack Clarke returned to the top of the timesheets after a strong run in the closing stages of today’s afternoon session in Barcelona.

The Briton, who topped four of the six sessions in F2’s previous test at Portimão, rose to the fore on his 21st tour of the Catalunya circuit, recording a 1:38.247s effort which proved too good for the rest of the field.

Alex Brundle was Clarke’s closest challenger as the session drew to a close, as the Briton continued his own fine testing form to close just shy of a tenth behind Clarke in second.

Brundle’s effort demoted Benjamin Lariche into third, the Frenchman finishing little more than one hundredth of a second behind Brundle in third. 

César Ramos continues to improve during his first experience of the Williams JPH1B F2 car, and the 2010 Italian F3 Champion put in his best lap so far today to rise to fourth fastest at the session’s close. 

Ramos was the first in a gaggle of cars separated by less than three tenths of a second, as Christopher Zanella narrowly edged out this morning’s pacesetter Mihai Marinescu and fellow newcomer Daniel Cammish to claim fifth spot.

Marinescu ad Cammish were sixth and seventh respectively, while Nigel Moore and Maxime Jousse renewed their rivalry as they finished less than three hundredths of a second apart.

Moore and Jousse finished as champion and runner-up respectively in the 2010 Formula Palmer Audi Championship, and Moore retained his advantage over the Frenchman with a last gasp effort to seal eighth and demote Jousse to ninth. Dutchman Kelvin Snoeks was also in the mix, finishing one thousandth of a second behind Jousse in tenth.

While the track had completely dried during the lunchbreak, mild temperatures ensured that conditions remained tricky. César Ramos enjoyed a trip across the gravel on his opening lap, while Plamen Kralev was beached in the gravel on the outside of turn seven which brought a temporary halt to the session.

Thiemo Storz meanwhile was remarkably able to return to the running order in the closing minutes of the session, after sustaining heavy damage following a crash into the barriers in the morning.

Drivers will return to the circuit at 15:45 for a final 45 minute overboost-enabled session.

FIA Formula Two Championship – Barcelona – Day One, Afternoon Session:

1 CLARKE, Jack 1:38.247s
2 BRUNDLE, Alex +0.107s
3 LARICHE, Benjamin +0.123s
4 RAMOS, César +0.575s
5 ZANELLA, Christopher +0.911s
6 MARINESCU, Mihai +1.019s
7 CAMMISH, Daniel +1.029s
8 MOORE, Nigel +1.114s
9 JOUSSE, Maxime +1.139s
10 SNOEKS, Kelvin +1.140s
11 PIÑEIRO, Ramón +1.379s
12 SNEGIREV, Max +1.456s
13 KRAIHAMER, Dominik +1.917s
14 KRALEV, Plamen +2.529s
15 STORZ, Thiemo +3.162s