ART Grand Prix driver Jake Hughes has gone fastest in the opening GP3 pre-season test of 2018 at Circuit Paul Ricard.

The Midlander set a lap time of 1m49.456s to top the timesheets by 0.107s, snatching the lead with under 40 minutes of the three-hour afternoon period remaining.

Hughes’ team-mate Nikita Mazepin completed a one-two for the French outfit, finishing ahead of MP Motorsport’s Niko Kari and Campos’ Leonardo Pulcini.

Anthoine Hubert – who was fastest in the morning session while the circuit was damp – ended the day in fifth above Dorian Boccolacci, the final driver in the 1m49s bracket.

Gabriel Aubry was seventh above a Trident trio of Alessio Lorandi, Ryan Tveter and Pedro Piquet.

The session marked a first run in Dallara GP3-16 machinery for series newcomers Joey Mawson and Diego Menchaca.

Mawson finished 11th, just over a second behind Hughes, while Menchaca was 19th.

This test also had the first laps by an MP machine in its usual orange and white colours after running in blue ex-DAMS liveries in post-season testing last December.