Jason Plato leads an all MG front row after claiming pole-position by a mere nine-thousandths over team mate Sam Tordoff at Silverstone.
Plato, who still has an outside shout of claiming this season BTCC's title, narrowly edged his younger team mate with 58.210 second lap around the national circuit as the pair traded blows during the early stages of the session.
The MG duo's early benchmark proved unbeatable with Dave Newshams Speedworks Toyota falling just over a tenth shy of the ultimate pace in third.
BMW's Colin Turkington
emerged from qualifying in a fine fourth to keep his championship hopes alive despite a difficult morning during practice.
Dynojet's Frank Wrathall had been a frontrunner for most of the session, but in a moment of confusion the Toyota's time had revoked from the standings due to a ride-height irregularity.
Once the car complied with the regulations Wrathall then resumed the session to post a time good enough for a well earned fifth position.
Such was the pace of today's session, each of the top-five all dipped under last year's qualifying record.
Jack Goff provided one of the biggest surprises of the day as the RCIB Insurance Racing Insignia stormed to qualify in sixth position, by far and away his best qualifying of the year after a previous best of 20th.
Row four is occupied by the Ciceley Avensis of Adam Morgan in seventh and eBay Motors' Rob Collard
Matt Neal was the top Honda in ninth, never really troubling the front end of the field while championship leader Andrew Jordan, as he expected, struggled in tenth position.
Gordon Shedden didn't fare any better in his Yuasa Honda with the Scotsman qualifying a disappointing 15th ahead of tomorrow's three races.