Adrian Quaife-Hobbs made it six pole positions from seven Auto GP rounds in 2012 at the final event at Sonoma.
The Super Nova driver, who wrapped up the championship last time out at Curitiba meeting, recorded a fastest time of 1m25.470s.
"Adrian predicted a 1m26.9s pole time on the sim'," said Super Nova boss David Sears. "And he has beaten that by a long way. We are actually using a much longer circuit than that used by IndyCar, so the cars are closer to IndyCar laptimes than Indy Lights."
The pace-setter in both of Friday's practice sessions Russian Sergey Sirotkin was second quickest, 0.468s behind Quaife-Hobbs and the only other man to lap in the 1m25s.
Double Curitiba winner Antonio Pizzonia was third fastest on his maiden outing for Zele Racing. The ex-Formula 1 driver held the top spot with three minutes of the half-hour qualifying session left on the clocks.
But the Brazilian was usurped by first Sirotkin and, with a little over a minute remaining, by British driver Quaife-Hobbs.
Norwegian Pal Varhaug is tasked with maintaining second in the drivers' standings from Sirotkin this weekend, and ended the morning fourth fastest for Virtuosi UK.
Marrakech winner Sergio Campana completed an all-new line-up for Zele and took fifth. The Italian was keen to erase the memories of a difficult outing for Euronova Racing in Brazil.
"I need to forget the Curitiba meeting, which was a complete nightmare for me," said Campana. "I really love this track, so I hope to finish the season in a good way."
Daniel de Jong joined debutant Kotaru Sakurai in being stripped of a lap time for exceeding the track limits, and wound up sixth after encountering a slow-moving Francesco Dracone on a hot lap.
Giacomo Ricci qualified seventh for his third Auto GP outing of the year, ahead of sometime GP2 racer Giancarlo Serenelli.
Britain's Pippa Mann was 14th for what will be her first race since her huge IndyCar crash at Las Vegas Speedway a year ago. Mann only completed her seat-fitting on Wednesday, and encountered difficulty getting comfortable during Friday practice.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Super Nova 1m25.470s
2. Sergey Sirotkin Euronova 1m25.938s + 0.468s
3. Antonio Pizzonia Zele 1m26.135s + 0.665s
4. Pal Varhaug Virtuosi UK 1m26.214s + 0.744s
5. Sergio Campana Zele 1m26.347s + 0.877s
6. Daniel de Jong Manor MP 1m26.852s + 1.382s
7. Giacomo Ricci MLR 71 1m27.072s + 1.602s
8. Giancarlo Serenelli Ombra 1m27.356s + 1.886s
9. Kotaro Sakurai Euronova 1m27.541s + 2.071s
10. Francesco Dracone Virtuosi UK 1m27.883s + 2.413s
11. Antonio Spavone Ombra 1m27.886s + 2.416s
12. Max Snegirev Campos 1m28.179s + 2.709s
13. Giuseppe Cipriani Campos 1m29.671s + 4.201s
14. Pippa Mann Campos 1m30.027s + 4.577s
15. Michele la Rosa MLR 71 1m30.206s + 4.736s