Thomas Biagi led a Dinamic BMW 1-2 in qualifying for the first International Superstars Series race at Mugello.
Having led the way for the first 10 minutes of the half-hour session, Biagi found himself shuffled down the order thanks to quick laps from the likes of Andrea Larini, Johnny Herbert and Camilo Zurcher. He then fired out an impossibly fast 1m51.170s lap, which was quickly deleted when he was found guilty of not respecting the track limits.
But with just two minutes to go Biagi got it right, a 1m57.450s putting him back on top and on the way to securing pole position for Sunday's first race.
Biagi's team-mate Sandro Bettini left it even later. It was not until the last minute of the session that the Mugello local fired from nowhere to second place with an impressive 1m57.492s.
However, it was Zurcher (Romeo Ferraris Mercedes) who was the real surprise of the session. Having not even been fast enough to feature in the top 10 throughout practice, the series debutant looked set for pole position before the late charge from the BMW pair.
While he therefore missed out on a fairytale pole, Zurcher will share the second row with the vastly more experienced Johnny Herbert (Swiss Team Maserati).
Gianni Morbidelli abated any fears that the restricted Audi RS5 would be uncompetitive by setting the fifth fastest time, less then three tenths slower than Biagi's benchmark. His team-mate Johan Kristoffersson was only another tenth behind, with Larini (Romeo Ferraris Mercedes) splitting the two RS5s.
Stefano Gabellini made sure there were three Dinamic BMWs in the top 10 with the eighth fastest time, ahead of Paolo Meloni (W&D Racing BMW) and Tonio Liuzzi (CAAL Racing Mercedes).
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Thomas Biagi Dinamic BMW 1m57.450s 2. Sandro Bettini Dinamic BMW 1m57.492s + 0.042s 3. Camilo Zurcher Romeo Mercedes 1m57.609s + 0.159s 4. Johnny Herbert Swiss Maserati 1m57.678s + 0.228s 5. Gianni Morbidelli Audi Italia 1m57.735s + 0.285s 6. Andrea Larini Romeo Mercedes 1m57.788s + 0.338s 7. Johan Kristoffersson KMS Audi 1m57.881s + 0.431s 8. Stefano Gabellini Dinamic BMW 1m57.971s + 0.521s 9. Paolo Meloni W&D BMW 1m58.082s + 0.632s 10. Tonio Liuzzi CAAL Mercedes 1m58.244s + 0.794s 11. Max Pigoli Ferlito Jaguar 1m58.403s + 0.953s 12. Max Mugelli CAAL Mercedes 1m58.822s + 1.372s 13. Ananda Mikola Roma Mercedes 1m58.951s + 1.501s 14. Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet 1m58.969s + 1.519s 15. Thomas Schoffler MTM Audi 1m59.377s + 1.927s 16. Nico Caldarola Roma Mercedes 1m59.433s + 1.983s 17. Mauro Cesari Swiss Maserati 1m59.595s + 2.145s 18. Andrea Boffo Ferlito Jaguar 1m59.926s + 2.476s 19. Walter Meloni W&D BMW 2m00.073s + 2.623s 20. Gianni Giudici Giudici BMW 2m00.494s + 3.044s 21. Francesco Ascani Todi BMW 2m00.767s + 3.317s 22. Leonardo Baccarelli Todi BMW 2m02.145s + 4.695s 23. Marco Fumagalli Giudici BMW 2m02.713s + 5.263s