A late flyer from Alvaro Parente gave him and his Ocean Racing team their first GP2 pole position this afternoon at Spa.
In far sunnier and conditions than those that the field faced in practice this morning, Parente produced a 1m54.970s lap to dislodge Lucas di Grassi from the top spot by just 0.080s with just 20 seconds of the session remaining.
Several quick drivers were still out on the track, but when Roldan Rodriguez stopped on the circuit and brought out the yellows a few moments later, any hopes of bettering Parente's time were dashed and the Portguese driver's place at the top was secured.
Points leader Nico Hulkenberg will start from third, alongside iSport's Diego Nunes, who did an outstanding job to record his best-ever qualifying result.
Hulkenberg's main title rival Vitaly Petrov could manage no better than fifth, with Karun Chandhok to join him on the front row.
The session was one of the most competitive of the season and, with the top 17 cars covered by just one second, a couple of tenths shaved off lap times were translating into gains of three or four rows on the grid.
Yet despite the pressure, the afternoon was relatively incident-free, with Davide Rigon providing the only drama when he forced the session to be briefly red-flagged after spinning and stalling at the Bus Stop.
Times to follow