PREMA Racing’s Gabriele Minì set the early pace in Melbourne as the Italian driver topped timesheets in Free Practice ahead of Qualifying thanks to a time of 1:33.225.

Minì proved to be the one to beat for the majority of the morning session with compatriot Leonardo Fornaroli his nearest challenger, ending up three-tenths off his time. PREMA teammate Dino Beganovic wound up third.

But at the start of proceedings, it was an all-PREMA top three as Minì hit the ground running with a lap of 1:34.874, leading Beganovic by three-tenths, as Arvid Lindblad tucked into third.

Soon after, Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Cian Shields spun into the barrier at the final corner, bringing out the Red Flags after 15 minutes of running.

The drivers were back out on track with half of the session remaining and once again it was Minì who set the pace, strengthening his grip on P1 thanks to a 1:33.847. Trident’s Fornaroli was now his closest challenger in second, two-tenths off the top.

The PREMA driver continued to post eye-catching times as he later crossed the line to complete a lap of 1:33.225, with Fornaroli once again in second, this time 0.345s behind.

With three minutes left in the session, another Red Flag was waved after ART Grand Prix driver Nikola Tsolov collided with MP Motorsport’s rookie Alex Dunne. The Irishman ended up in the barriers, and the session was not resumed.

This left Minì with the fastest time with Fornaroli in P2 as Beganovic rounded out the top three.

Qualifying is scheduled for 14:00 local time at the Albert Park Street Circuit.