Fabio Leimer claimed his first GP2 pole position in qualifying for this weekend's non-championship event in Abu Dhabi.
The Swiss, who switched from Rapax to Racing Engineering for this weekend, bumped Arden driver Josef Kral from the top of the timesheets shortly before the session was red-flagged after pole position favourite Esteban Gutierrez's ART entry ground to a halt at Turn 8.
Spanish driver Dani Clos, who moved in the opposite direction to Leimer to drive for Rapax, ended up second after putting in a lap two tenths off Leimer to get ahead of Kral moments before Gutierrez hit trouble.
With only three-and-a-half minutes available after the stoppage, a number of drivers' second qualifying runs were interrupted and the top 10 did not change.
This left Kral third courtesy of the lap-time he set on his first run. Luiz Razia (AirAsia) and Jolyon Palmer (Addax) will line up behind him after also putting together strong laps during their first outings.
Carlin driver Max Chilton was the biggest climber in the second qualifying runs, leaping from 18th to sixth, setting the fastest middle sector of the day. This put him just ahead of Coloni driver Kevin Ceccon, who had posted his mark on his first set of tyres.
Gutierrez ended up a disappointing eighth after languishing half a second off the pace on his first run. He improved a little on his first lap on his second set of tyres before grinding to a halt. He will line up ahead of Tom Dillmann, the best placed of the GP2 rookies on his debut weekend with iSport.
Stefano Coletti, in the second Coloni entry, will start 10th after setting an identical time to Dillmann. In this situation, the regulations dictate that the driver who set their lap first is classified ahead, giving the Frenchman the advantage.
GP3 graduate James Calado, making his GP2 debut for ART, was the biggest improver in the post-red flag running, jumping from 17th to 12th with a last-lap effort. This put him just ahead of old GP3 rival Nigel Melker, making his bow in the category for DAMS.
Giacomo Ricci (Super Nova) will drop from 11th on the grid to 21st due to a yellow flag penalty, while slowest qualifier Nicolas Marroc (Ocean) committed the same offence but was already at the back.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m49.363s
2. Dani Clos Rapax 1m49.570s + 0.207s
3. Josef Kral Arden 1m49.612s + 0.249s
4. Luiz Razia AirAsia 1m49.649s + 0.286s
5. Jolyon Palmer Addax 1m49.697s + 0.334s
6. Max Chilton Carlin 1m49.737s + 0.374s
7. Kevin Ceccon Coloni 1m49.751s + 0.388s
8. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m49.822s + 0.459s
9. Tom Dillmann iSport 1m50.070s + 0.707s
10. Stefano Coletti Coloni 1m50.070s + 0.707s
11. Giacomo Ricci Super Nova 1m50.074s + 0.711s
12. James Calado ART 1m50.074s + 0.711s
13. Nigel Melker DAMS 1m50.147s + 0.784s
14. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m50.230s + 0.867s
15. Alexander Rossi AirAsia 1m50.236s + 0.873s
16. Antonio Felix da Costa Ocean 1m50.276s + 0.913s
17. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1m50.296s + 0.933s
18. Jake Rosenzweig Addax 1m50.374s + 1.011s
19. Julian Leal Trident 1m50.374s + 1.011s
20. Rio Haryanto DAMS 1m50.515s + 1.152s
21. Stephane Richelmi Trident 1m50.600s + 1.237s
22. Simon Trummer Arden 1m50.752s + 1.389s
23. Fabio Onidi Super Nova 1m51.052s + 1.689s
24. Jan Charouz Carlin 1m51.407s + 2.044s
25. Mihai Marinescu Rapax 1m51.893s + 2.530s
26. Nicolas Marroc Ocean 1m52.550s + 3.187s