Tristan Vautier took pole position for his Firestone Indy Lights debut around the streets of St. Petersburg on Saturday.
The French rookie headed a 1-2-3 for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, with Esteban Guerrieri just edging out Oli Webb for second on the grid.
British driver Webb held the advantage in the early part of the session before Vautier pinched the top spot with a 1m06.7229s lap. That time held until a spin by Bryan Herta Autosport's Troy Castaneda triggered a brief red flag, and when the session recommenced with six minutes left, Vautier immediately improved his time to 1m06.4550s.
Both Guerrieri and Webb tried to respond, with the latter setting his best time on his final lap, but both fell just short of the 2011 Star Mazda champion and ended up 0.17sec and 0.18sec adrift, respectively.
Series returnee Sebastian Saavedra ruined the Schmidt team's chances of a 1-2-3-4 by edging Victor Carbone out of fourth place in his AFS/Andretti Autosport entry.
Pos Driver Team/ Time Gap
1. Tristan Vautier Sam Schmidt 1m06.4550s
2. Esteban Guerrieri Sam Schmidt 1m06.6326s + 0.1776s
3. Oli Webb Sam Schmidt 1m06.6370s + 0.1820s
4. Sebastian Saavedra AFS/Andretti 1m06.8106s + 0.3556s
5. Victor Carbone Sam Schmidt 1m06.9208s + 0.4658s
6. Gustavo Yacaman Moore 1m06.9255s + 0.4705s
7. Carlos Munoz Andretti 1m06.9267s + 0.4717s
8. Alon Day Belardi 1m07.3331s + 0.8781s
9. Juan Pablo Garcia Jeffrey Mark 1m07.3868s + 0.9318s
10. Joao Horto Juncos 1m07.5563s + 1.1013s
11. Jorge Goncalvez Belardi 1m07.7097s + 1.2547s
12. David Ostella Moore 1m08.1153s + 1.6603s
13. Troy Castaneda Bryan Herta 1m08.1257s + 1.6707s
14. Armaan Ebrahim Fan Force 1m08.8404s + 2.3854s
15. Darryl Wills Hillenburg 1m08.9874s + 2.5324s