Luigi Ferrara secured a last-gasp pole position for the first Superstars International Series race at Donington Park.
Having not completed a single lap in the second free practice session, the result of an out-lap engine failure, Ferrera came into qualifying less prepared than the rest of the frontrunners.
But it did not seem to faze the Roma Racing Mercedes driver. He was quickly amid the fight for pole, going fastest at the mid-way point of the session, before slipping back to fourth during a flurry of fast times in the last five minutes.
Ferrara reappeared with just enough time to do two laps, the first putting him second fastest, the second - started literally seconds before the flag was waved - securing an unbelievable pole position.
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Ferrara's last-minute heroics meant Tonio Liuzzi had to settle for the second, the Romeo Ferraris Mercedes driver having seemingly been on for another pole after a becoming the first man into the 1m33s bracket with a 1m33.915s with a minute left to run.
Giovanni Berton was another late improver. Having been very quiet during practice, the Dinamic BMW driver locked down third with a 1m34.183s effort after the flag.
Gianni Morbidelli (Audi Sport Italia RS5) was fourth, ahead of Liuzzi's team-mate Thomas Biagi, and British Touring Car Championship regular Colin Turkington, who was an impressive sixth fastest on debut in the Scuderia Giudici BMW.
Max Mugelli and Mauro Trentin made sure there were three Dinamic BMWs in the top 10 with seventh and 10th respectively, while Domenico Schiattarella was eighth and the best of the Solaris Chevrolets.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Luigi Ferrara Roma Mercedes 1m33.899s
2. Tonio Liuzzi Ferraris Mercedes 1m33.915s +0.016s
3. Giovanni Berton Dinamic BMW 1m34.183s +0.284s
4. Gianni Morbidelli Audi Italia 1m34.219s +0.320s
5. Thomas Biagi Ferraris Mercedes 1m34.345s +0.446s
6. Colin Turkington Giudici BMW 1m34.648s +0.749s
7. Max Mugelli Dinamic BMW 1m34.860s +0.961s
8. Domenico Schiattarella Solaris Chevrolet 1m34.865s +0.966s
9. Andrea Bacci CAAL Mercedes 1m36.250s +2.351s
10. Mauro Trentin Dinamic BMW 1m36.292s +2.393s
11. Roberto Papini CAAL Mercedes 1m36.504s +2.605s
12. Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet 1m37.523s +3.624s
13. Francesco Ascani Todi BMW 1m37.592s +3.693s
14. Gianni Giudici Giudici BMW 1m38.434s +4.535s
15. Diego Romanini MRT Lexus 1m38.636s +4.737s