Marcel Fassler claimed pole position for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring by just nine one thousandths of a second ahead of Audi teammate Allan McNish.
The Swiss took pole for the American Le Mans Series opener with a lap timed at 1m43.886s aboard the 2012-spec Audi R18 e-tron quattro, a mark that McNish came close to equaling on his final lap in the 2013 car.
Fassler, who is driving with Benoit Treluyer and Oliver Jarvis, said: "It was a really tight battle for the pole. The car was good yesterday, so I knew I could do it. This was my first qualifying at Sebring, which isn't an easy track to set a quick lap on. Being first is really good."
Best of the rest behind the two factory Audis was Nick Heidfeld on a 1m46.456 in the fastest of the two Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota B12/60s. The Anglo-Swiss Rebellion squad overcame a handing imbalance that afflicted the No. 12 car that Heidfeld shares with Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost to beat the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD for privateer honors.
The pole-winning margin in LMP2 was hardly any bigger than in P1, with IndyCar refugee Ryan Briscoe overcoming Level 5 Motorsports HPD teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay by just 0.1sec.
Former Porsche factory driver Briscoe, who is racing at Sebring for the first time since 2008, set his pole lap of 1m51.159 in the car he shares with Scott Tucker and Marino Franchitti.
RISI TAKES GT POLE ON RETURN
Gianmaria Bruni set two laps good enough for pole in the GT class on the Risi Competizione Ferrari team's return to the ALMS after a year away.
The Italian, who shares the team's Ferrari 458 Italia with Matteo Malucelli and Olivier Beretta, ended up at 1m58.896s, which put him little more than a tenth ahead of Oliver Gavin in the best of the Chevrolet Corvette C6.Rs. Bruni has now claimed three consecutive class pole positions for Ferrari at Sebring. He followed up on his 2012 and '11 poles with AF Corse on his return to Risi this year.
The fastest of the two factory Aston Martin Vantage GTEs ended up third fastest in the hands of Stefan Mucke.
Andy Lally set the pace in the GTC class for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, taking pole by three tenths of a second aboard the lead Dempsey Del Piero Racing entry.
Pos Cl Qual driver Team/Car Time
1. P1 Marcel Fassler Joest Audi 1m43.886s
2. P1 Allan McNish Joest Audi 1m43.895s
3. P1 Nick Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m46.456s
4. P1 Klaus Graf Pickett HPD 1m46.478s
5. P1 Andrea Belicchi Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m46.689s
6. P1 Butch Leitzinger Dyson Lola-Mazda 1m48.407s
7. P2 Ryan Briscoe Level 5 HPD 1m51.267s
8. P2 Ryan Hunter-Reay Level 5 HPD 1m51.271s
9. P2 Tom Kimber-Smith Greaves Zytek-Nissan 1m51.366s
10. P2 David Brabham Extreme Speed HPD 1m52.703s
11. P2 Johannes van Overbeek Extreme Speed HPD 1m53.074s
12. PC Colin Braun CORE FLM 1m53.404s
13. PC Bruno Junqueira RSR FLM 1m53.674s
14. PC Pierre Kaffer DragonSpeed FLM 1m53.838s
15. P1 Olivier Pla DeltaWing 1m53.866s
16. PC David Ostella PR1 Mathiasen FLM 1m54.311s
17. PC Kyle Marcelli BAR1 FLM 1m54.520s
18. PC Tristan Nunez Performance Tech FLM 1m54.598s
19. PC Rusty Mitchell BAR1 FLM 1m55.282s
20. GT Gianmaria Bruni Risi Ferrari 1m58.815s
21. GT Oliver Gavin Corvette 1m58.934s
22. GT Stefan Mucke Aston Martin 1m58.990s
23. GT Pedro Lamy Aston Martin 1m59.208s
24. GT Antonio Garcia Corvette 1m59.348s
25. GT Jonathan Bomarito SRT Viper 1m59.430s
26. GT Marco Holzer Miller Porsche 1m59.543s
27. GT Maxime Martin RLL BMW 1m59.736s
28. GT Joey Hand RLL BMW 1m59.847s
29. GT Dominik Farnbacher SRT Viper 1m59.898s
30. GT Leh Keen AJR/West Ferrari 2m00.308s
31. GT Wolf Henzler Falken Porsche 2m00.365s
32. GTC Andy Lally Dempsey Porsche 2m05.446s
33. GTC Jeroen Bleekemolen Alex Job Porsche 2m05.747s
34. GTC Sean Edwards NGT Porsche 2m05.747s
35. GTC Spencer Pumpelly Flying Lizard Porsche 2m05.765s
36. GTC Damien Faulkner TRG Porsche 2m05.910s
37. GTC Jan Heylen JDX Porsche 2m05.936s
38. GTC Alexandre Imperatori Flying Lizard Porsche 2m06.059s
39. GTC Andrew Davis Dempsey Porsche 2m06.219s
40. GTC Kevin Estre TRG Porsche 2m06.246s
41. GTC Kuba Giermaziak NGT Porsche 2m07.057s
42. GTC Lawson Aschenbach Competition Porsche 2m07.366s