Garth Tander came out on top of a frantic late rush on a drying track to take pole for the first V8 Supercars race of the weekend at Barbagallo.
Pole changed hands repeatedly in the closing moments as track conditions improved at the Perth venue, before Holden Racing Team driver Tander claimed the top spot with a 1m02.1974s lap.
Tander usurped Brad Jones Racing's Jason Bright, who was just 0.0751 seconds slower.
Reigning champion Jamie Whincup took third for Triple Eight, sharing row two with Jonathon Webb after a very strong run from the Tekno driver. Whincup's team-mate Craig Lowndes was one of the men wrong-footed in the final scramble and will start only 16th.
Ford Performance Racing - the leading team so far this season - saw Mark Winterbottom and satellite driver David Reynolds claim the row three spots, while championship leader Will Davison ended up ninth in its #6 car.
Fabian Coulthard (Brad Jones Racing) held provisional pole for a spell but was pushed back to seventh. For former champion James Courtney in the second HRT entry, eighth place marked a significant upturn in qualifying form. Lee Holdsworth completed the top 10 for Stone Brothers Ford.
Race one takes place later on Saturday afternoon, with two more qualifying sessions and races scheduled for Sunday.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Garth Tander HRT Holden 1m02.1974s
2. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden 1m02.2725s + 0.0751s
3. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden 1m02.3046s + 0.1072s
4. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden 1m02.3631s + 0.1657s
5. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford 1m02.3770s + 0.1796s
6. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford 1m02.4301s + 0.2327s
7. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden 1m02.4711s + 0.2737s
8. James Courtney HRT Holden 1m02.5026s + 0.3052s
9. Will Davison FPR Ford 1m02.5549s + 0.3575s
10. Lee Holdsworth Stone Brothers Ford 1m02.5972s + 0.3998s
11. Steven Johnson Dick Johnson Ford 1m02.8920s + 0.6946s
12. Steve Owen Dick Johnson Ford 1m02.9216s + 0.7242s
13. Todd Kelly Kelly Holden 1m02.9493s + 0.7519s
14. Shane van Gisbergen Stone Brothers Ford 1m02.9765s + 0.7791s
15. Rick Kelly Kelly Holden 1m02.9903s + 0.7929s
16. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden 1m03.0088s + 0.8114s
17. Greg Murphy Kelly Holden 1m03.0675s + 0.8701s
18. Tim Slade Rosenberg/SBR Ford 1m03.1689s + 0.9715s
19. Dean Fiore Triple F Ford 1m03.2129s + 1.0155s
20. James Moffat Dick Johnson Ford 1m03.2521s + 1.0547s
21. Michael Caruso Garry Rogers Holden 1m03.2670s + 1.0696s
22. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw Holden 1m03.3093s + 1.1119s
23. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Ford 1m03.4322s + 1.2348s
24. Taz Douglas Dumbrell Holden 1m03.5773s + 1.3799s
25. Alexandre Premat Garry Rogers Holden 1m03.6266s + 1.4292s
26. Michael Patrizi Tekno Holden 1m03.6371s + 1.4397s
27. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden 1m03.8028s + 1.6054s
28. Karl Reindler Kelly Holden 1m03.8624s + 1.6650s