Jack Doohan topped a disrupted Practice session at his home event in Australia for Invicta Virtuosi ahead of Isack Hadjar and FIA F3 champion Victor Martins.
Jak Crawford set the fourth quickest time, just ahead of Enzo Fittipladi, as Theo Pourchaire endured a lacklustre outing, ending up in P14.
At the green light, a flurry of cars left the pit lane in Melbourne for the 45-minute Practice session.
After a quiet opening 10 minutes of the session, Fittipaldi set a 1:45.877 for Rodin Carlin, which Martins quickly beat.
Red Bull Junior Ayumu Iwasa set the first representative time of the session with a 1:32.927 before Martins and Australian driver Doohan usurped him as the track continued to rubber in.
Zane Maloney improved to third place for Rodin Carlin with just over half an hour remaining moments before Roy Nissany clattered the wall at Turn 14, bringing out the red flags and ending the Israeli’s session.
During the lull of the red flag period, Doohan sat on top of the timesheets ahead of Fittipaldi and Iwasa.
The championship leader Ralph Boschung sat in P18 for Campos Racing, having set a 1:35.498.
The sole Practice session of the weekend resumed with 20 minutes to go after Nissany’s stricken PHM Racing by Charouz was removed from the circuit.
The remaining 21 cars rejoined the circuit on the medium tyre looking to make up for losing valuable track time.
The times began to tumble, and Frenchman Hadjar bested Crawford and Doohan’s efforts to go to the top of the standings.
MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala brought out a second red flag after spinning and then stalling at Turn 14 as the session became ever more disrupted.
With 11 minutes to go, Practice restarted for the second time as the majority of the field descended onto the 14-turn circuit. Iwasa remained in the pits as adjustments were made to his DAMS car.
Doohan claimed the quickest time with a 1:30.132 at his home track, closely followed by Hadjar, who lapped fractionally slower than the Invicta Virtuosi driver.
Iwasa improved to fourth place with five minutes left as Doohan raised the bar even further, setting an impressive 1:29.238.
Doohan improved even further in the closing stages, breaking the 1:29 barrier with a 1:28.989 in Albert Park.
Ollie Bearman went beyond the limits of his PREMA, and he spun at Turn 2 with a minute remaining and caused a final red flag.
The British driver found himself in P6 before the red flags waved for a third time, bringing Practice to a premature end.
Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd