Kevin Magnussen took pole position in the wet for the first Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at Silverstone.
The Carlin driver grabbed top spot during a brief flurry of activity as the session entered its final minute, setting the best time just seconds after championship leader Robin Frijns had taken provisional pole.
Frijns, who is racing with a new chassis this weekend after his original was destroyed in a testing crash earlier in the week had been languishing down in 16th before pulling a lap out of the bag to get up the front for Fortec.
With the track wet from overnight rain it was expected that all of the improvements would come at the end of qualifying, but low temperatures and some spots of rain in the air meant that track conditions did not get much better.
After their first runs, nearly all of the drivers sat in the pits until the final six minutes, and in most cases it was only their first flying laps on those second runs that were good enough to make any improvements.
Alexander Rossi joined Magnussen and Frijns in going quicker at the end, giving him third on the grid. That left Jules Bianchi, who led the way after the first runs but did not improve later on, fourth just ahead of an all-Draco third row of Andre Negrao and Nico Muller.
Championship contender Sam Bird suffered a fire in the pitlane but was able to re-emerge in time to complete one flying lap before the checkered flag came out. He climbed from 17th to 10th as a result.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Kevin Magnussen Carlin 1m57.260s
2. Robin Frijns Fortec 1m57.298s + 0.038s
3. Alexander Rossi Arden Caterham 1m57.571s + 0.311s
4. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 1m57.632s + 0.372s
5. Andre Negrao Draco 1m57.907s + 0.647s
6. Nico Muller Draco 1m58.045s + 0.785s
7. Arthur Pic DAMS 1m58.060s + 0.800s
8. Mikhail Aleshin RFR 1m58.069s + 0.809s
9. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m58.196s + 0.936s
10. Sam Bird ISR 1m58.232s + 0.972s
11. Jake Rosenzweig ISR 1m58.308s + 1.048s
12. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 1m58.439s + 1.179s
13. Antonto Felix da Costa Arden Caterham 1m58.511s + 1.251s
14. Nigel Melker Lotus 1m58.796s + 1.536s
15. Will Stevens Carlin 1m58.860s + 1.600s
16. Lucas Foresti DAMS 1m58.944s + 1.684s
17. Nick Yelloly Comtec 1m59.053s + 1.793s
18. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec 1m59.414s + 2.154s
19. Carlos Huertas Fortec 1m59.671s + 2.411s
20. Daniil Move P1 1m59.769s + 2.509s
21. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m59.822s + 2.562s
22. Anton Nebylitskiy RFR 1m59.926s + 2.666s
23. Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target 2m00.495s + 3.235s
24. Yann Cunha Pons 2m00.500s + 3.240s
25. Walter Grubmuller P1 2m01.072s + 3.812s
26. Daniel Zampieri BVM Traget 2m01.108s + 3.848s