Arthur Pic gave DAMS pole position for its Formula Renault 3.5 debut as he came out on top of the first qualifying session of the weekend at Aragon.
The Frenchman, who topped both free practice sessions on Friday, briefly led the way in the early stages of qualifying before Richie Stanaway grabbed top spot just 11 minutes in.
The Kiwi then boosted his chances of hanging on to pole by improving his time with only four minutes to go, before Pic snatched it away just two minutes later.
Stanaway, who had already been bumped back a place by Kevin Korjus, had to settle for fourth in the end. Shortly after Pic crossed the line to take pole, Nick Yelloly completed an impressive lap to grab second.
Korjus was one of several drivers to get caught up in traffic in the final couple of minutes, as many drivers slowed before the final hairpin to try to find space. Not only was the Estonian baulked by cars ahead of him, but he was almost hit by pre-season testing star Robin Frijns, who struggled with an engine mapping issue but still managed to improve on his final lap to seal 12th.
The third row of the grid appeared set to be an all-GP2 converts affair with Jules Bianchi fifth and Sam Bird sixth as the flag dropped, but late improvements from Jake Rosenzweig, Carlos Huertas and Nico Muller split the pair, pushing Bird back to ninth.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Arthur Pic DAMS 1m40.027s
2. Nick Yelloly Comtec 1m40.161s + 0.134s
3. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 1m40.170s + 0.143s
4. Richie Stanaway Lotus 1m40.250s + 0.223s
5. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 1m40.266s + 0.239s
6. Jake Rosenzweig ISR 1m40.321s + 0.294s
7. Carlos Huertas Fortec 1m40.385s + 0.358s
8. Nico Muller Draco 1m40.419s + 0.392s
9. Sam Bird ISR 1m40.483s + 0.456s
10. Daniil Move P1 1m40.597s + 0.570s
11. Walter Grubmuller P1 1m40.682s + 0.655s
12. Robin Frijns Fortec 1m40.726s + 0.699s
13. Alexander Rossi Arden 1m40.741s + 0.714s
14. Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target 1m40.764s + 0.737s
15. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec 1m40.776s + 0.749s
16. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m40.785s + 0.758s
17. Will Stevens Carlin 1m40.796s + 0.769s
18. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m40.983s + 0.956s
19. Kevin Magnussen Carlin 1m40.986s + 0.959s
20. Andre Negrao Draco 1m41.123s + 1.096s
21. Mikhail Aleshin RFR 1m41.153s + 1.126s
22. Lewis Williamson Arden 1m41.169s + 1.142s
23. Giovanni Venturini BVM Target 1m41.351s + 1.324s
24. Lucas Foresti DAMS 1m41.407s + 1.380s
25. Anton Nebylitskiy RFR 1m41.576s + 1.549s
26. Yann Cunha Pons 1m42.209s + 2.182s