Reigning APR Volkswagen Racing Cup champion James Walker narrowly snatched pole position ahead of Aaron Mason for the first race of the season at Oulton Park.
Walker, who is expected not to contest the entire season, went quickest on his initial lap to set the trend for what was to come, trading lap times with Jim Cartwright and returning double champion Phil House early in the session.
The first man to go under the two minute barrier was Alex Dziurzynski, the Volkswagen Corrado driver going quickest ahead of former BTCC driver Martin Depper.
SEAT driver Peter Wyhinny then brought himself into the battle with a time 0.4s off pole that jumped him to second, before Walker returned to the top moments later.
Cartwright then took up the fight to his fellow Golf GTI rival and went up to second place in the closing minutes, while Mason then intercepted the pair of them, still 0.6s off of Walker’s pole time which he had extended to 1m56.172s.
Wyhinny was the man that made progress in the dying moments, leaping up to fifth and then third moments later, while at the front there was one last-gasp effort from Mason to beat Walker, the Scirocco driver just missing out on stealing the CMW Racing driver’s pole by 0.067s.
Depper meanwhile jumped up to third spot at the death, Wyhinny fourth while Cartwright, Ross Wylie, Dziurzynski and House rounded out the top eight, former double champion Joe Fulbrook ending 10th in his Bora.