Alex Zanardi has secured his maiden pole position in the World Touring Car Championship after leading the way during qualifying for the latest rounds of the season at Brno.
The BMW Team Italy-Spain driver broke Rickard Rydell's lap record in the dying stages of the session to take spot with a fastest lap of 2min 08.913secs at the Czech Republic circuit – making him the first man to break the 2min 9secs marker at the wheel of his BMW 320si.
Zanardi's late lap demoted Alain Menu to second on the grid in the first of the Chevrolet Lacettis, while the Italian's BMW team-mate Felix Porteiro will start from third place in the second of the ROAL Motorsport-run cars – putting him alongside Rob Huff on row two of the grid.
Gabriele Tarquini was the only SEAT driver to challenge for the top spot during the session but he had to settle for fifth place in the first of the Leon TDis, with fellow SEAT man Tiago Monteiro alongside on row three, while James Thompson and Pau race winner Augusto Farfus rounded out the top eight.
Jordi Gene and Andy Priaulx completed the top ten but fellow BMW man Jorg Muller could only manage 17th place after going off into the gravel and briefly bringing out the red flags.
Sergio Hernandez was the leading Independent running in a solid twelfth place overall for Proteam Motorsport, with Pierre-Yves Corthal and Franz Engstler second and third amongst the non-works drivers.
Local driver Michal Matejovsky was a solid fourth place ahead of his debut on home soil while just one driver – Golden Motors Andrey Smetsky – failed to set a time within the qualification maxima during the session.