Jason Plato smashed the lap record at Rockingham to secure his fifth pole of the Dunlop MSA British Car Championship season.
The MG KX Momentum Racing driver posted a best time of 1min 22.448secs to clinch top spot by more than six-tenths of a second, breaking Tom Chilton's qualifying lap record in the process.
“From the moment I put my bum in the car this morning it's felt great – we've really moved it on but the job's only half done,” he said. “It's important I convert pole into a win or two tomorrow as I really need to take a bite out of the Honda drivers in the championship.”
Gordon Shedden was best of the rest for Honda having edged out the similar Pirtek Racing car of Andrew Jordan
by just 0.014s. Shedden's time was quicker than the pole time from twelve months ago but the Scot was unable to live with Plato's pace.
Mat Jackson was fourth quickest in the Redstone Racing Ford Focus with Andy Neate and Matt Neal
completing the top six – the latter despite being forced to battle on with a broken bone in his hand.
Frank Wrathall was seventh in his Toyota Avensis ahead of Rob Collard's BMW; the eBay Motors man being the only non-NGTC runner in a top ten completed by Jeff Smith and Adam Morgan.
Elsewhere, Knockhill winner Dave Newsham struggled down in 13th place in his Vauxhall Vectra, with a series debutant Howard Fuller 14th ahead of his first race in the Team HARD Honda Civic.