Guy Smith earned Dyson Racing pole position for the American Le Mans Series' inaugural race at Baltimore, edging out the sister Lola-Mazda of Steven Kane by just over 0.1s.
Smith had held top spot from his opening lap, but as grip levels improved Kane looked like he may have stolen pole, moving 0.015s clear with just one minute remaining.
Smith was on his own flyer however and almost immediately reclaimed top spot, dipping into the 1m27s bracket to settle the issue.
Life was made easier for Dyson Racing as the Muscle Milk Lola-Aston Martin of Klaus Graf and Romain Dumas was unable to take part in the session due to an electrical loom problem suffered in practice.
There was a similarly dramatic finish in the LMPC class as the #06 Oreca of Gunnar Jeanette traded times with the #37 of Kyle Marcelli.
Jeanette ultimately claimed the LMPC pole, but was made to sweat as Marcelli had one last flyer as the chequered flag fell - eventually finishing just 0.4s shy.
Elton Julian may also have featured in the pole battle, but he collided with the tyre barriers with eight minutes to go. The resulting damage caused a short red flag period, and dropped Julian down to third overall.
Dirk Werner meanwhile secured pole position for the #55 BMW M3 GT in what was an acrimonious GT qualifying.
Patrick Long in the #45 Porsche 911 clashed in the final minutes with Jaime Melo in the #62 Risi Ferrari after complaining of being held up on a flying lap.
Long, who also had a dispute with Jan Magnussen in the #4 Chevrolet Corvette, tapped Melo through the opening set of corners, delaminating the Ferrari's rear tyre and causing Melo to abandon his car on circuit.
Long was black-flagged but looks set to keep third, with Magnussen just missing out on a first pole of 2011 for Chevrolet in second.
Melo finished sixth fastest, behind the second #56 BMW of Joey Hand and the #3 Corvette of Tommy Milner.
In GTC, an inspired piece of quick thinking helped Jeroen Bleekemolen take pole for the #54 Black Swan Porsche.
Bleekemolen had lost a wheel as he pulled into a run-off zone early on in the session, but he got out the car, picked up the wheel and put it in the passenger side, before belting himself back in and returning to the pits.
With all tyres marked, the team were able to reattach the wheel and get Bleekemolen back on track. He duly secured pole by more than 0.3s.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time 01. P1 Dyson/Smith Dyson Lola-Mazda 1m27.750s 02. P1 Al Masaood/Kane Dyson Lola-Mazda 1m27.896s 03. PC Jeannette/Gonzalez CORE FLM 1m29.407s 04. PC Nicolosi/Boon/Marcelli Performance Tech FLM 1m29.473s 05. PC Lux/Zugel/Julian Genoa FLM 1m30.407s 06. GT Auberlen/Werner BMW 1m31.362s 07. GT Gavin/Magnussen Corvette 1m31.950s 08. GT Bergmeister/Long Flying Lizard Porsche 1m31.992s 09. GT Muller/Hand BMW 1m32.010s 10. GT Beretta/Milner Corvette 1m32.224s 11. P1 Burgess/McMurry/Lewis Autocon Lola-AER 1m32.587s 12. GT Melo/Vilander Risi Ferrari 1m32.699s 13. GT Henzler/Sellers Falken Porsche 1m32.772s 14. PC Bennett/Montecalvo CORE FLM 1m32.983s 15. PC Dobson/Lewis PR1 Mathiasen FLM 1m33.051s 16. GT Law/Neiman Flying Lizard Porsche 1m33.964s 17. GT Sharp/van Overbeek Extreme Speed Ferrari 1m34.151s 18. GT Junqueira/Wilden RSR Jaguar 1m34.360s 19. GT Miller/Maassen Miller Porsche 1m34.609s 20. GT Jones/Moran RSR Jaguar 1m35.911s 21. PC Nicolosi/Boon Performance Tech 1m36.046s 22. GTC Pappas/Bleekemolen Black Swan Porsche 1m36.794s 23. GTC Keen/Sweedler Alex Job Porsche 1m37.160s 24. PC Marcelli/Ducote/Ducote Intersport FLM 1m37.569s 25. GTC Davis/LeSaffre Black Swan Porsche 1m37.917s 26. GT Brown/Cosmo Extreme Speed Ferrari 1m38.674s 27. GTC von Moltke/di Guida TRG Porsche 1m41.131s 28. GTC Potter/Stanton Magnus Racing Porsche 1m41.462s