Defending British Touring Car champion Gordon Shedden claimed pole position at Donington Park for Honda after edging out Frank Wrathall in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis.
Shedden last pole was in 2011 at Oulton Park, and it had looked as if Wrathall had done enough to secure this one, but missed out by 0.049s.
Wrathall’s effort forced early pace-setter Andrew Jordan down to third, the Pirtek Civic weighed down by success ballast.
Matt Neal (Honda) and Jason Plato (MG) will line-up fourth and fifth for tomorrow’s opener, while Ciceley Racing‘s Adam Morgan was an impressive sixth.
Another youngster, MG’s Sam Tordoff, could only manage seventh while Colin Turkington was eighth in the WSR BMW.
Dave Newsham again left it late to haul his own Avensis into the top ten finishing ninth ahead of the Honda Civic of Jeff Smith, who recovered from an early spin.
Tom Onslow-Cole gave Tony Gilham a big boost in the Rockstar Volkswagen, finishing a second off the ultimate pace, but still finished above both Rob Collard (WSR BMW) and Mat Jackson (Motorbase Ford Focus).
Jackson’s team-mate Aron Smith ended his session in the gravel, bringing out a late red flag.
James Kaye continued to dominate the S2000 runners, as the veteran racer saw off the challenges from Focus duo David Nye and Liam Griffin.