A superb last-gasp lap from Maxime Martin put the No. 41 Marc VDS Ford on pole position for the GT1 World Championship qualifying race at Ordos in China.
Richard Westbrook looked like he had done enough to give himself and JRM Nissan teammate Peter Dumbreck a second straight pole as he set a lap of 1m38.669s in Q3 and then headed for the pits with a minute still to run.
While most were already back in their garages, Martin mounted a final pole shot as the checkered flag fell. For the first two thirds of the lap it looked like he would be staying in third, before a mighty final sector to earn Martin and team-mate Frederic Makowiecki pole by 0.134sec over the Nissan. The result was the first pole for a Ford team all season.
Markus Winkelhock was third in the No. 38 All-Inkl Lamborghini. He and co-driver Marc Basseng, currently second in the points, will hope to take advantage of championship leading JRM Nissan crew Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm lacking a little pace this weekend. Laden with success ballast, they had to dig deep to get through both Q1 and Q2 before taking seventh on the grid.
The two Sumo Power Nissans completed the top five, with Tomas Enge and Alex Muller qualifying sixth in the only Aston Martin to reach Q3. Their team-mates Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke were a surprisingly lowly 13th.
With the ex-Swiss Racing Team Lamborghinis now in DKR's hands, the field was back up to 18 cars – although the returnee Murcielagos will both start from the back row. Local favorite Ho-Pin Tung's World GT1 debut also got off to a low-key start as he was unable to get his Exim Corvette beyond Q1.
Pos Drivers Team/Car Time Gap
1. Martin/Makowiecki Marc VDS Ford 1m38.535s
2. Westbrook/Dumbreck JRM Nissan 1m38.669s + 0.134s
3. Winkelhock/Basseng All-Inkl Lamborghini 1m38.768s + 0.233s
4. Catsburg/Bernoldi Sumo Power Nissan 1m38.909s + 0.374s
5. Campbell-Walter/Brabham Sumo Power Nissan 1m39.222s + 0.687s
6. Enge/Muller Young Driver Aston 1m39.543s + 1.008s
7. Luhr/Krumm JRM Nissan 1m39.561s + 1.026s
8. Pastorelli/Schwager All-Inkl Lamborghini 1m40.002s + 1.467s
9. Dusseldorp/Piccione Hexis Aston 1m39.141s Q2
10. Hohenadel/Piccini Hexis Aston 1m39.281s Q2
11. Jimenez/Rossi Exim Corvette 1m39.290s Q2
12. Nygaard/Hirschi Belgian Ford 1m39.383s Q2
13. Turner/Mucke Young Driver Aston 1m39.466s Q2
14. Clairay/Leclerc Belgian Ford 1m39.809s Q2
15. Tung/den Boer Exim Corvette 1m40.204s Q1
16. Hennerici/Leinders Marc VDS Ford 1m40.420s Q1
17. Leuenberger/Lauck DKR Lamborghini 1m40.642s Q1
18. Kennard/Bruck DKR Lamborghini 1m42.683s Q1