The MW Arden team will start the first GP3 race of the Valencia weekend with two of its cars sharing the front row of the grid, after Mitch Evans beat teammate David Fumanelli to pole position in qualifying.

Kiwi Evans was on top at the midway point of the session, but then had his effort bettered by championship leader Aaro Vainio by a tenth of a second.

Fumanelli then went ahead, before Evans went top by 0.033 seconds with around five minutes remaining.

That would prove to be enough – with Evans being a number of drivers trying to improve as the flag fell but there were yellow flags out at the very end of the lap after Patric Niederhauser had come to a halt on the left-hand-side of the start-finish straight.

Vainio finished up in third, the Lotus GP ace missing out on pole by less than a tenth.

Kevin Ceccon took fourth place for Ocean Racing Technology, 0.294s away from pole, while Antonio Felix Da Costa improved at the very end to fifth for Carlin.

This pushed Tio Ellinas down into the sixth place. The Cypriot had been in the mix for pole and was looking to improve before encountering the slowing Niederhauser at the final turn – Ellinas displaying his frustration with a hand gesture.

Conor Daly was just 0.006s behind Ellinas, but will take a ten-place grid penalty for his part in his aerial shunt in Monaco. That will drop him to 17th, with the third Arden machine of Matias Laine inheriting seventh.

Monaco reverse grid race winner Marlon Stockinger was ninth fastest, ahead of Daniel Abt. Tamas Pal Kiss was 11th, with Will Buller 12th after he was unable to repeat his pace that saw him top last week's test at the nearby permanent Ricardo Tormo facility.

Alice Powell was 13th and the last driver within a second of pole position. Robert Visoiu was 14th, in front of Fabiano Machado and a likely-disappointed Alex Brundle.

Niederhauser was 17th, in front of John Wartique, Dmitry Suranovich, Robert Cregan, Antonio Spavone and Vicky Piria, who was within two seconds of the pace. Ethan Ringel and Carmen Jorda will prop up the grid for the first race at 16:20 BST.