Dragon Racing driver Loic Duval pipped Beijing ePrix winner Sebastien Buemi in practice for the Putrajaya ePrix.
The Frenchman made his mark with a two-lap full-power run inside the last five minutes of the session, jumping to the top with a spectacular first effort that yielded a 1m20.188s. He was given the all-clear to have a second crack at a 200kW lap, but a small spin meant he failed to improve.
Not that it mattered; the first lap was enough to give him P1 for the session, especially after NEXTEV driver Oliver Turvey became stranded at the exit of the hairpin two minutes from the end, preventing any late improvement.
“It was not an easy one,” said Duval. “At the end, it works pretty well. But its only one lap with 200kW, so you never know if the other guys made mistakes or not.
“But for sure, to be at the front for the start is always better. As much pressure we can put on Renault, better it is.”
Beijing ePrix winner Sebastien Buemi wound up second fastest after having sat top for much of the session. The Renault e.DAMS driver set his best lap 35 minutes out from the end of the session, a 1m20.272s, but failed to improve on another full-power lap six minutes from the end.
ABT Audi Sport had a good session, Daniel Abt third and Lucas di Grassi second, while reigning Putrajaya winner Sam Bird split the pair with fourth for DS Virgin.
Nick Heidfeld was sixth for Mahindra, ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, Jean-Eric Vergne, Bruno Senna, and Stephane Sarrazin.
The session was interrupted by three red flags, the first two so the marshals could make minor repairs to the circuit.
The third and final stoppage came when Jaques Villeneuve was left stranded on the run to Turn 4 thanks to a suspected battery issue with just over half an hour remaining.