Fabio Leimer claimed his first GP2 pole position in qualifying for this weekend's non-championship event in Abu Dhabi.
The Swiss, who switched from Rapax to Racing Engineering for this weekend, bumped Arden driver Josef Kral from the top of the times shortly before the session was red-flagged after pole position favorite Esteban Gutierrez's ART entry ground to a halt at Turn 8.
Spanish driver Dani Clos, who moved in the opposite direction to Leimer to drive for Rapax, ended up second after putting in a lap two tenths off Leimer to get ahead of Kral moments before Gutierrez hit trouble.
With only 3-1/2 minutes available after the stoppage, a number of drivers' second qualifying runs were interrupted and the top 10 did not change. This left Kral third courtesy of the lap time he set on his first run. Luiz Razia (AirAsia) and Jolyon Palmer (Addax) will line up behind him after also putting together strong laps during their first outings.
Carlin driver Max Chilton was the biggest climber in the second qualifying runs, leaping from 18th to sixth, setting the fastest middle sector of the day. This put him just ahead of Coloni driver Kevin Ceccon, who had posted his mark on his first set of tires.
Gutierrez ended up a disappointing eighth after languishing half a second off the pace on his first run. He improved a little on his first lap on his second set of tires before grinding to a halt. He will line up ahead of Tom Dillmann, the best placed of the GP2 rookies on his debut weekend with iSport.
Stefano Coletti, in the second Coloni entry, will start 10th after setting an identical time to Dillmann. In this situation, the regulations dictate that the driver who set their lap first is classified ahead, giving the Frenchman the advantage.
GP3 graduate James Calado, making his GP2 debut for ART, was the biggest improver in the post-red flag running, jumping from 17th to 12th with a last-lap effort. This put him just ahead of old GP3 rival Nigel Melker, making his bow in the category for DAMS.