Juri Vips held off Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman to take victory at the Macau Grand Prix qualifying race.
The Red Bull Junior driver made the perfect getaway to the ten lap affair, allowing the Estonian to avoid losing a place due to the slipstream on the run to Lisboa.
The Hitech Gp driver then produced a measured drive under immense pressure from the Russian to take a crucial victory as he aims for a Macau triumph.
Vips took victory from Shwartzman by 1.5 seconds at the finish, with Macau debutant Christian Lundgaard rounding out the podium places.
The race start was itself was chaotic as Logan Sargeant pitched Arjun Maini into the barriers.
The fall out from this saw perennial contenders Jake Hughes and Dan Ticktum both heavily compromised, with Hughes being eliminated on the spot and Ticktum being forced to pit due to damage.
This means that it is now unlikely that reigning Macau winner Ticktum will make it a hattrick of victories at the famous Guia Circuit.
Richard Verschoor waas fourth for MP Motorsport, ahead of Macau returnee Callum Illot, while Sargeant recovered from his incident to complete the top six.
Alessio Lorandi was a strong seventh, just ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg – who returned to the F3 field for this legendary event with ART.
Meanwhile, David Beckmann and Leo Pulcini rounded out the top ten ahead of Sunday’s hotly anticipated main race.