Colin Turkington dominated the British Touring Car Championship qualifying shootout at Donington Park, securing pole by a massive 0.644 seconds during a heavily interrupted session.
Prior to the first of three red flags the WSR driver set a 1m09.871s in his BMW 330i M Sport, and when running resumed drivers struggled to improve - leaving Turkington clear of points leader Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton.
After rain hit the two practice sessions, and with more forecast for qualifying, drivers felt it was imperative to bank an early time.
In the cold conditions, many of the front-wheel-drive runners opted to pit and swap their warm front tyres onto the rear but lost time from the stops as the weather deteriorated.
That left the rear-driven cars to fight it out, with Andrew Jordan initially setting the pace with a 1m11.246s ahead of team-mate Turkington.
The reigning BTCC champion did improve, briefly leading with a 1m10.770s, but he had his time deleted for exceeding track limits to leave an improving Tom Ingram top.
In response, Turkington then pulled out a 1m09.871s - his eventual pole time - as a red flag with was called 21 minutes remaining.
Team Hard driver Bobby Thompson had lost the rear end of his Volkswagen CC on the approach to the Old Hairpin and slid off into the gravel.
For pausing the session, he had his time deleted and was not able to continue. Not having set a representative lap time, he lines up 30th and last.
After a lengthy stoppage to retrieve the VW, the top 10 struggled to better their earlier efforts as light rain arrived over the second sector of the lap.
Nicolas Hamilton then caused another red flag with five minutes to go. He had survived a scare at Old Hairpin and rejoined across the grass but then lost his Motorbase Ford Focus RS at the same place a lap later and also wound up in the gravel.
As the session continued for a final shootout, again no one could match their previous times leaving Turkington on top as a final red flag was waved in the last minute.
When Chris Smiley slid across the grass, ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell had passed the rejoining Honda Civic Type R but unsettled his Audi S3 and so continued into the gravel at McLeans.
The stewards called time on the session then, with Turkington lining up on pole ahead of Cook, Sutton and free practice pacesetter Smiley.
Sam Tordoff will line up fifth for the first race ahead of Tom Ingram and Team Dynamics pairing Dan Cammish and Matt Neal - celebrating 20 years since his first BTCC win in 1999, for which he earned £250,000.
Turkington's team-mate Tom Oliphant finished ninth, followed by Rob Collard's Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra.
Ollie Jackson split the Astra drivers, with Jason Plato 12th from Tom Chilton.
Jordan, in the third WSR BMW, failed to beat his 1m11.246s that had initially taken him top, eventually slipping to 16th.
|2||Josh Cook||BTC Racing||Honda||1m10.515s||0.644s|
|3||Ash Sutton||BMR Racing||Subaru||1m10.535s||0.664s|
|4||Chris Smiley||BTC Racing||Honda||1m10.638s||0.767s|
|5||Sam Tordoff||AmD Tuning||Honda||1m10.650s||0.779s|
|6||Tom Ingram||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota||1m10.691s||0.820s|
|7||Dan Cammish||Team Dynamics||Honda||1m10.700s||0.829s|
|8||Matt Neal||Team Dynamics||Honda||1m10.713s||0.842s|
|10||Rob Collard||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall||1m10.868s||0.997s|
|11||Ollie Jackson||Motorbase Performance||Ford||1m10.891s||1.020s|
|12||Jason Plato||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall||1m10.905s||1.034s|
|13||Tom Chilton||Motorbase Performance||Ford||1m11.015s||1.144s|
|14||Adam Morgan||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes||1m11.019s||1.148s|
|15||Aiden Moffat||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes||1m11.131s||1.260s|
|17||Stephen Jelley||Team Parker Racing||BMW||1m11.283s||1.412s|
|18||Matt Simpson||Simpson Racing||Honda||1m11.509s||1.638s|
|19||Rory Butcher||AmD Tuning||Honda||1m11.554s||1.683s|
|20||Jack Goff||Team Hard||Volkswagen||1m11.618s||1.747s|
|21||Senna Proctor||BMR Racing||Subaru||1m11.663s||1.792s|
|22||Jake Hill||Trade Price Cars Racing||Audi||1m11.677s||1.806s|
|23||Rob Smith||Excelr8 Motorsport||MG||1m11.694s||1.823s|
|24||Michael Crees||Team Hard||Volkswagen||1m11.860s||1.989s|
|25||Carl Boardley||Team Hard||Volkswagen||1m11.932s||2.061s|
|26||Nicolas Hamilton||Motorbase Performance||Ford||1m12.759s||2.888s|
|27||Daniel Rowbottom||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes||1m12.867s||2.996s|
|28||Sam Osborne||Excelr8 Motorsport||MG||1m13.162s||3.291s|
|29||Mark Blundell||Trade Price Cars Racing||Audi||1m15.573s||5.702s|
|30||Bobby Thompson||Team Hard||Volkswagen||-||-|