Adrian Quaife-Hobbs kept his very slim GP3 title hopes alive with a last-ditch lap for pole position at Monza.
The Briton, who missed out on track time after a collision with Lewis Williamson in second practice on Friday, shot to the top of the times as the checkered flag fell. The two bonus points for pole leave Quaife-Hobbs 17 adrift of Valtteri Bottas with 18 still available this weekend.
The Manor driver's pole lap demoted Jenzer's Nico Muller to second, after the Swiss driver had moved up from the midfield places to take pole just a minute earlier.
Rio Haryanto made it two Manor cars in the top three after enjoying a very brief spell at the top, while MW Arden's Mitch Evans also put in a late effort of his own to demote the two drivers leading the title fight to the third row.
Championship leader Bottas took provisional pole on three separate occasions in the early stages of the session, while his ART team-mate and closest title rival James Calado sat eighth at the halfway stage.
Bottas was one of the first drivers to head out on his second set of tyres with 11 minutes remaining, and there was a potential flashpoint when Calado lunged the Finn into the first chicane as they both tried to find their way through a queue of cars a couple of minutes later.
Calado's risk appeared to have paid off as he took pole with that lap, while Bottas aborted his attempt due to being forced wide at the first corner.
The improvements of others left Calado fifth ahead of Bottas, but those positions were reversed at the end when the championship leader made a small gain despite encountering traffic through the Lesmo bends and the Ascari chicane.
Of the other drivers with an outside shot at the title, Alexander Sims (Status) will start 11th with Nigel Melker (RSC Mucke) 13th.