World Touring Car Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez continued his dominant showing at the Slovakia-Ring by securing his second pole position of the season.
The Argentinean, who sampled the circuit for the first time on Friday, has been fastest in every session this weekend.
Lopez's pole time of 2m03.912s was 0.372 seconds faster than his World Rally Championship legend Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb, while Yvan Muller completed another top three lockout for the team.
"I thought after driving this track on the simulator that it would suit my style," said Lopez. "I felt like I was driving quick before qualifying, but I felt the same thing in Hungary and I got beaten to pole by Yvan.
"The problem was Yvan and Seb were improving, improving, improving and I knew after Seb's Q3 lap that one little mistake and I was finished."
A number of gremlins disrupted Loeb's progress through qualifying, and the WTCC rookie was thankful that a red flag in Q2 provided additional time for his misbehaving C-Elysee to be rectified.
In the opening 20 minute Q1 segment of qualifying, Loeb had set an early banker lap on old tyres. When an issue at the rear of his car required attention, Loeb was in danger of missing cut for the top 12 fastest drivers who progress into Q2.
"I got out just before the end of Q1, but about 100m before the line my engine cut-out completely, so I crossed the finish on the clutch," explained Loeb.
"My mechanics did a great job, but without the red flag later I am not sure I would have made it into Q3."
A three-car incident as Q2 commenced gave the Citroen mechanics opportunity to complete a fuel-pump change. The session was stopped after the factory Hondas of Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro, as well as Rob Huff's Lada, ran off the road.
Tarquini's Civic appeared to be the chief instigator of the interruption, after the bonnet flew open and obscured the Italian's vision.
Norbert Michelisz, who completed his 100th WTCC start at the Hungaroring last weekend, was the only Honda driver to proceed into Q3. The Zengo racer was an impressive second fastest in the penultimate qualifying session, but was forced to settle for a fourth place starting position in Sunday's opening race.
Fresh from victory in the reversed-grid race at the Hungaroring, reigning Superstars champion Gianni Morbidelli achieved top Chevrolet honours in fifth, ahead of fellow customer Cruze runner Tom Chilton.
Proteam Honda driver Mehdi Bennani encountered technical trouble in his Civic that sidelined him for much of the opening qualifying session, preventing him from progressing.
Follow both Slovakia WTCC races as they happen on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live on Sunday afternoon
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 2m03.912s 2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2m04.284s +0.372s 3. Yvan Muller Citroen 2m04.541s +0.629s 4. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 2m04.903s +0.991s 5. Gianni Morbidelli Munnich Chevrolet 2m04.931s +1.019s 6. Tom Chilton ROAL Chevrolet 2m04.870s Q2 7. Tom Coronel ROAL Chevrolet 2m04.988s Q2 8. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 2m05.363s Q2 9. Hugo Valente Campos Chevrolet 2m05.429s Q2 10. Tiago Monteiro Honda 2m05.772s Q2 11. Dusan Borkovic Campos Chevrolet 2m06.835s Q2 12. Rob Huff Lada 2m07.002s Q2 13. Rene Munnich Munnich Chevrolet 2m06.625s Q1 14. James Thompson Lada 2m07.718s Q1 15. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 2m12.390s Q1* 16. Pasquale di Sabatino Engstler BMW 2m13.381s Q1* 17. Petr Fulin Campos SEAT 2m13.508s Q1* 18. John Filippi Campos SEAT 2m13.786s Q1* 19. Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada Q1 20. Mehdi Bennani Proteam Honda Q1 * TC2