Patron Highcroft Racing's David Brabham fell just short in the fight for pole position at Mid-Ohio, securing a slot on the front of the grid for the latest round of the American Le Mans Series season.
Brabham finished just 0.069secs behind the de Ferran Motorsports Acura during the session, with team boss Gil de Ferran eventually beating the Australian driver to top spot.
The pole time was some 2.5secs quicker than Brabham and team-mate Scott Sharp had managed during practice, showing the improvements in the circuit conditions on the second day of running.
"Well done to Gil, I know how hard I was trying out there and I am sure he must be out of breath,” Brabham said. "I was up a little bit on my second run but just picked up a bit of understeer. The two cars are so close it is unbelievable. The LMP2 cars are not too far behind so I think we are going to have a great race.
"It would have been nice the other way around but we certainly have some direction for the race tomorrow. The car was a lot better than the previous practice sessions but we will take a look at the final change we made and see where the understeer came from.
"Last year the LMP2 car got better and better as the stint continued, so hopefully the LMP1 Acura will be the same. The track is starting to rubber up so I think tomorrow should be even quicker."