Renger van der Zande claimed his maiden British Formula 3 pole position by setting the fastest time in first qualifying at Hockenheim this afternoon.
The Dutchman duelled with championship leader Daniel Ricciardo for the top spot, eventually edging him out by 0.074sec.
Double R's Carlos Huertas headed the times early on, before an off at the slow right hander at Turn 2 brought out the yellow flags and hampered his teammates Daisuke Nakajima and Marcus Ericsson just as they were winding up to get the best from their tires.
Ericsson regrouped and claimed the top spot with a 1m33.671s lap at the halfway stage, only for van der Zande to dislodge him immediately with a time almost two tenths better.
Ricciardo vaulted to the top of the timesheet by completing a 1m33.120s lap with just over 12 minutes remaining. Van der Zande responded, but fell fractionally short on each of his next two laps before finally nailing the pole with 10 minutes left.
Ricciardo banged in his own best lap of the weekend immediately after van der Zande, but it wasn't enough and, once National Class poleman Gabriel Dias (T-Sport) lost it at the fearsomely fast final turn, throwing his Dallara into the pit wall and bringing out the yellow flags, Ricciardo had to settle for second.
"That was a real fight," said van der Zande. "I was on the radio trying to see where Ricciardo was. I could have gone quicker I think, but the yellow flags came out and after that the tyres were finished.
"I really wanted revenge on the rest after last weekend, but I didn't have the luck until now. There's a bit of understeer, so I think it can be quicker tomorrow if it's dry. I enjoyed that a lot, I'm very happy."
Ricciardo's Carlin teammate Max Chilton posted a time good enough for third, but it was set under the yellow flags that ruined many drivers' best laps and he was bumped to fourth behind Ericsson.
T-Sport's Adriano Buzaid was another to suffer this fate and ended up eighth, despite being quick enough for row three. Teammate Wayne Boyd and Carlin's Robert Wickens also had their best times scrubbed, promoting Huertas to row three.
Formula 2 championship leader Wickens will start his first British F3 race alongside Huertas after qualifying sixth, over half a second adrift of teammate Ricciardo.
JTR's Nick Tandy admitted his best laps were spoiled by the yellow flags but, with his Mygale unsuited to the high-speed sections of Hockenheim, he didn't feel he could have gone fast enough to better his lowly 10th spot on the grid.
Pos Driver Team Car Time
1. Renger van der Zande Hitech D/M 1m32.965s
2. Daniel Ricciardo Carlin D/V 1m33.039s
3. Marcus Ericsson Double R D/M 1m33.383s
4. Max Chilton Carlin D/V 1m33.457s
5. Carlos Huertas Double R D/M 1m33.580s
6. Robert Wickens Carlin D/V 1m33.606s
7. Walter Grubmuller Hitech D/M 1m33.656s
8. Adriano Buzaid T-Sport D/V 1m33.732s
9. Riki Christodoulou Fortec D/M 1m33.796s
10. Nick Tandy JTR M/M 1m33.981s
11. Daisuke Nakajima Double R D/M 1m34.047s
12. Victor Garcia Fortec D/M 1m34.052s
13. Wayne Boyd T-Sport D/V 1m34.151s
14. Henry Arundel Carlin D/V 1m34.350s
15. Jay Bridger Litespeed M/H 1m34.500s
16. Gabriel Dias T-Sport D/H 1m34.741s
17. Hywel Lloyd CF D/H 1m34.878s
18. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/H 1m35.193s
19. Stephane Richelmi Barazi Epsilon D/M 1m35.258s
20. Victor Correa Litespeed S/H 1m37.913s