Gordon Shedden secured his first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pole position for over three years with a record-breaking qualifying effort at Snetterton.
The reigning champion dismantled the previous lap record by almost half a second at the Norfolk circuit, claiming his first pole position since the 2013 visit to Donington Park.
Shedden’s initial effort was deleted for disrespecting track limits, but his second time of 1m55.627 was more significant as it proved unbeaten for the remainder of the 30-minute session.
A tight encounter saw the top three separated by a minuscule 0.028s by the flag, Colin Turkington joining his fellow double champion on the front row.
Behind the Halfords Yuasa Racing and Silverline Subaru Team BMR drivers, Adam Morgan qualified third in the Ciceley Racing Mercedes A-Class, while Tom Ingram and Mat Jackson rounded out the top five.
Hunter Abbott continued his recent trend of impressing on Saturdays for Power Maxed Racing, leading off row three in sixth ahead of the Team BKR Volkswagen CC of Aron Smith.
Ashley Sutton was best of the Triple Eight MGs in eighth spot, heading Honda’s Matt Neal and the championship leader Sam Tordoff who lines up 10th. Jason Plato‘s Subaru Levorg GT will start 11th, while Rob Collard could only qualify 18th on the grid for West Surrey Racing.
Martin Depper and Warren Scott were among those who suffered a spin during the session, while Andrew Jordan failed to leave the pits after power steering problems and will start from the back of the grid.