Colin Turkington grabbed pole position in a tight qualifying session for the second meeting of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park.
The Northern Irishman left it until the final flurry of fast laps to make his move to the head of the times, departing his BMR Racing team-mate Jason Plato who had looked the favourite to steal the first slot on the grid for much of the 30-minute session.
Turkington prevented Plato from stealing back-to-back Donington pole positions with an effort of 1m09.483s, the top three just separated by 0.069s.
Second place went the way of the Honda Yuasa Racing Civic Type-R of Gordon Shedden, the 2012 BTCC champion splitting the Volkswagens on his final lap of the session which at one stage saw BMR hold a 1-2-3-4 after 10 minutes.
Behind Plato, Adam Morgan upheld honours for Mercedes by grabbing fourth spot ahead of Andrew Jordan, the session proving eventful for the latter who spun his Triple Eight MG twice at the exit of the Old Hairpin.
A star performer was Josh Cook, who finished inside the top six as the top rookie of the session, ahead of championship leader, Matt Neal.
The Honda man confirmed the pace of the team’s Civic Type-R even with 75kg of success ballast, Sam Tordoff best of the rear-wheel drive runners in eighth spot for West Surrey Racing. Aiden Moffat made it two in the top 10 for Mercedes, Dave Newsham rounding out the top 10 to confirm a fabulous qualifying for Power Maxed Racing.
The session was brought to a halt with 16 minutes to go as Andy Priaulx – pole-sitter at Brands Hatch – crawled to a stop with a terminal problem exiting the Old Hairpin. The drama means that the triple World Touring Car Champion will start only 23rd.
Aron Smith was in contention for much of the session until a gearbox problem scuppered his qualifying earlier than intended, while Jack Goff suffered a lurid spin at Old Hairpin in a similar manner to his team-mate, Jordan.
Dan Welch made it out for four tours of the circuit, meaning 29 runners took part in the session.