Jules Bianchi came out on top in a duel with teammate Valtteri Bottas to take pole position for the first Formula 3 Euro Series race of the weekend at Oschersleben.
The ART pair exchanged places at the top of the order several times during the session, but Bianchi's effort with four minutes to go was good enough to seal the top spot.
Bottas was unable to improve in the closing stages, but his effort was good enough to keep him on the front row, ahead of Bianchi's nearest title rival Christian Vietoris who took third.
The top three enjoyed the best part of a 0.3-second gap back to the chasing pack, which will be led by Manor Motorsport's Roberto Merhi in fourth place.
Signature teammates Jean-Karl Vernay and Mika Maki completed the top six thanks to improving their times in the final moments of the session, while F3 rookie Alexander Sims jumped up to seventh with his final lap.
Former Euro Series race winner and current British F3 frontrunner Renger van der Zande put in a solid performance on his return to the championship with Motopark Academy, taking eighth place, while Esteban Gutierrez and Stefano Coletti completed the top 10.TIMES:
Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 1m20.706s
2. Valtteri Bottas ART D/M 1m20.838s + 0.132s
3. Christian Vietoris Mucke D/M 1m20.847s + 0.141s
4. Roberto Merhi Manor D/M 1m21.116s + 0.410s
5. Jean Karl Vernay Signature D/V 1m21.134s + 0.428s
6. Mika Maki Signature D/V 1m21.186s + 0.480s
7. Alexander Sims Mucke D/M 1m21.255s + 0.549s
8. Renger van der Zande Motopark D/M 1m21.328s + 0.622s
9. Esteban Gutierrez ART D/M 1m21.353s + 0.647s
10. Stefano Coletti Prema D/M 1m21.370s + 0.664s
11. Andrea Caldarelli SG D/M 1m21.519s + 0.813s
12. Henkie Waldschmidt SG D/M 1m21.611s + 0.905s
13. Marco Wittmann Mucke D/M 1m21.620s + 0.914s
14. Sam Bird Mucke D/M 1m21.647s + 0.941s
15. Cesar Ramos Manor D/M 1m21.739s + 1.033s
16. Christopher Zanella Motopark D/M 1m21.924s + 1.218s
17. Tom Dillmann HBR D/M 1m21.957s + 1.251s
18. Tiago Geronimi Signature D/V 1m21.964s + 1.258s
19. Jake Rosenzweig Carlin D/V 1m21.965s + 1.259s
20. Brendon Hartley Carlin D/V 1m22.206s + 1.500s
21. Pedro Enrique Manor D/M 1m22.242s + 1.536s
22. Nick Tandy Kolles & Heinz D/V 1m22.292s + 1.586s
23. Basil Shaaban Prema D/M 1m22.480s + 1.774s
24. Johan Jokinen Kolles & Heinz D/V 1m22.570s + 1.864s
25. Johnny Cecotto HBR D/M 1m22.865s + 2.159s