Tom Onslow-Cole took over from team-mate Tom Chilton at the top of the times to secure pole position for the fourth round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Oulton Park.
The Team Aon driver posted a quickest time of 1min 27.330secs during the session to edge out Gordon Shedden for pole, with the Honda man once again falling just shy of topping the timesheets. His quickest time was just 0.020secs away from pole at a circuit where he has always run strongly.
Championship co-leader Jason Plato was third quickest despite carrying 36 kilos of ballast on his car while team-mate Alex MacDowall was fourth. The top four on the times were split by just 0.069secs in the closest-fought qualifying session of the year to date.
Chilton had earlier set the pace in both free practice sessions but had to settle for fifth place ahead of Rob Collard's BMW and the Honda of Matt Neal – who now has work to do from seventh place on the grid to keep pace with Plato in the title race.
Paul O'Neill was eighth despite stopping after just four laps with a gearbox issue, although it still marked the best qualifying performance of the season to date for the sunshine.co.uk driver in his home race. Mat Jackson and James Nash rounded out the top ten.
Elsewhere, Steven Kane was down in eleventh place after a troubled day where he struggled for pace, while Andrew Jordan will start from the back of the grid after missing the session while the Pirtek Racing team changed the engine on his car.