Jamie Green snatched a last-gasp pole position for the seventh round of the DTM at Zandvoort - his fourth of the season - as the young Brit fought off an Audi onslaught in Holland.
The 24-year-old stormed to the top of the timesheets with just five minutes of the qualifying session remaining, to head off the Ingolstadt threat that had seen A4s fill the leading positions throughout Friday and Saturday practice.
Tom Kristensen will start alongside Green on the grid after lapping les than a tenth of a second slower, with Martin Tomczyk and Mattias Ekstrom sharing row two and Mercedes' big-hitters Bruno Spengler and championship leader Bernd Schneider - who lost time in free practice due to a technical problem - fifth and seventh respectively.
Although Green will now have started on the front row in every race bar one of the current DTM campaign, the Leicester ace has yet to register a victory. He will doubtless be hoping to rectify that on Sunday, especially after losing a certain win at Brands Hatch in front of his home fans in July to a late-race mistake.
The AMG star had struggled throughout free practice at Zandvoort, but came good when it mattered most to claim the quickest time in each of the last two periods of a frantic knock-out qualifying session. In doing so, he also set the fastest lap ever recorded around the Dutch track and secured Mercedes' fifth pole of the year from seven races.
Just over a tenth of a second separated the top four drivers in the end, hinting at a close and exciting race at one of the most spectacular circuits on the calendar.
Speaking afterwards, the pole-sitter said: “I am very happy with my position, especially as we have 20kg more than the Audis. My team and I have been working hard to achieve this result. Overtaking on this track is tricky, so hopefully we can be equally strong in the race.”
Second-placed Kristensen was rather less pleased, claiming he had been baulked by Spengler on his last flying lap. Nevertheless, the result still marks Audi's best combined qualifying performance all year.
“I lost a bit of my concentration when Spengler left the pit in front of me,” he said. “Whether or not it cost me pole is hard to say, but I was somewhat baffled.