Nelson Panciatici snatched pole position for the European Le Mans Series race at Spielberg in the last seconds of qualifying on Saturday morning.
The Signatech Alpine driver had been on the fringes of the pole position fight before his final lap, with Jota Sport's Oliver Turvey and Murphy Prototypes racer Brendon Hartley in the thick of the action in the closing minutes. But as those two were fighting it out, Panciatici was gradually building up his speed. He twice split the pair as all three kept improving, and then on his final lap he did enough to edge ahead of Turvey to take pole.
Panciatici's pole lap came when there appeared to be yellow flags out for a car that was in the gravel at Turn 6, which could explain why his rivals didn't improve on their final laps.
Championship leader Pierre Thiriet will start from row two, as Mathias Beche put the Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca-Nissan fourth fastest in a session that was very close at the front.
Further back, GTE honors went to the Proton Competition Porsche of Nick Tandy.
The Briton waited until the closing stages to come to prominence in the GT session, where he got the better of the Ferraris of Andrea Bertolini (JMW) and Ram Racing entries led by Johnny Mowlem and Gunnar Jeannette.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Gap
1. P2 Ragues/Panciatici Signatech Alpine-Nissan 1m23.737s
2. P2 Dolan/Turvey Jota Zytek-Nissan 1m23.871s +0.134s
3. P2 Hartley/Patterson Murphy ORECA-Nissan 1m24.010s +0.273s
4. P2 Thiriet/Beche TDS ORECA-Nissan 1m24.054s +0.317s
5. P2 Gachnang/Mailleux Morand Morgan-Judd 1m24.318s +0.581s
6. P2 Frey/Niederhauser Race Peformance ORECA-Judd 1m24.407s +0.670s
7. P2 Kraihamer/Holzer Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 1m24.794s +1.057s
8. P2 Mediani/Zlobin SMP Ferrrari 1m25.083s +1.346s
9. PC Loan/Verdonck Endurance FLM 1m27.631s +3.894s
10. PC Chatin/Hirsch Endurance FLM 1m27.942s +4.205s
11. PC Jones/Catsburg Endurance FLM 1m28.234s +4.497s
12. PC Pons/Ayari Endurance FLM 1m28.770s +5.033s
13. GTE Ried/Roda/Tandy Proton Porsche 1m29.391s +5.654s
14. GTE Bertolini/Camathias JMW Ferrari 1m29.513s +5.776s
15. GTE Mowlem/Griffin Ram Ferrari 1m29.629s +5.892s
16. GTE Jeannette/Montecalvo Ram Ferrari 1m29.780s +6.043s
17. GTE Milesi/Vernay IMSA Porsche 1m29.800s +6.063s
18. GTE Perrodo/Collard Prospeed Porsche 1m30.068s +6.331s
19. GTE Perazzini/Cioci/Leo AF Ferrari 1m30.187s +6.450s
20. GTC Markozov/Persiani/Frolov SMP Ferrari 1m30.705s +6.968s
21. GTC Babini/Shaitar/Ladygin SMP Ferrari 1m30.741s +7.004s
22. GTC Rizzoli/Gai/Case AF Ferrari 1m30.836s +7.099s
23. GTE Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank AF Ferrari 1m30.865s +7.128s
24. GTC Kox/Pronk Kox Lamborghini 1m31.127s +7.390s
25. GTE Felbermayr/Felbermayr/Bachler Proton Porsche 1m31.466s +7.729s
26. GTC Millroy/Smith/Twyman Ecosse BMW 1m31.765s +8.028s