Lewis Williamson (MW Arden) scored his first GP3 pole position in qualifying for the first race of the weekend in Valencia.
The British driver moved to the top of the times in the final minute of the session, having been on the fringes of the fight for pole throughout the 30 minutes.
The Scot's time knocked Adrian Quaife-Hobbs off the top of the times, and the Manor driver was bumped back a further place when Addax's Dean Smith moved up to second as the checkered flag fell.
Quaife-Hobbs enjoyed a long spell at the head of the field. But the lap that gave him pole for a while was hindered by traffic in the final sector, so he could have set an even tougher target for his rivals to beat.
Behind the all-British top three, Mitch Evans took fourth in a session where he completed fewer laps than everybody else. The Kiwi set the pace during the first runs, but he then spent a long time in the pits.
The MW Arden driver emerged with two minutes to go, but he pitted again at the end of his out-lap to leave him fourth on the grid.
Aaro Vainio (Tech 1) and Alexander Sims (Status) made late improvements to get themselves onto the third row, while Istanbul pole-sitter Tom Dillmann (Addax) appeared to be mounting a challenge at the end, but his lap fell away in the final sector to leave him seventh.
Championship leader Nigel Melker had a tough session on his way to 12th. The RSC Mucke driver dropped as low as 18th with five minutes remaining, but he repaired some of the damage in the closing stages. As 11th-placed Pedro Nunes will take a grid penalty for causing a collision last time out at Barcelona, Melker will move up to the front of the sixth row.