Carlin's Robert Wickens took his fifth World Series by Renault position of the season at Silverstone on Saturday morning.
The Canadian is chasing a four-point deficit to team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne in the points race, and the Red Bull Junior driver qualified back in eighth place. Wickens enjoyed a sizeable 0.4-second advantage over Friday's opening practice pacesetter Alexander Rossi (Fortec) in second today.
"I have to take my hat off to Robert," said Rossi. "I was pretty pleased with my lap when it came up on my dash, but then I saw him go four tenths faster.
"The race runs we did yesterday were all very positive, and we've been good on heavy fuel all year. We just need to keep Robert honest. If we can't get him at the start then I'll try and pressure him into a mistake."
ISR's pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Nathanael Berthon will form the second row of the grid for this afternoon's race.
Brendon Hartley took fifth place for the revamped Gravity-Charouz squad, which no longer has technical support from GP2 outfit DAMS. The Kiwi recorded the same time, 1m45.781s, as Spaniard Albert Costa (EPIC Racing), who was fastest at the midway point of the half-hour session.
Visiting GP3 racer Nick Yelloly continued his impressive transition to Formula Renault 3.5. The debutant ended the morning seventh quickest for Pons Racing, ahead of championship leader Vergne, who said he had encountered no major problems.
Yelloly's team-mate Oliver Webb, in 13th, felt fourth place had been achievable and blamed a mistake in the middle sector.