Jordan King kicked off his bid to wrap up the British Formula 3 International Series in style with a double pole position at the Nurburgring.
Englishman King pipped his closest title rival, Will Buller, by just a tenth of a second after overhauling the Northern Irishman when everyone ran their second set of tyres.
It completed a perfect day for King, whose Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen topped both free practice sessions in the morning, the first of which was run in the wet and the second in the damp.
"I can't complain too much with that," said King. "On my first set of tyres I probably didn't get the best out of them straight away, so I had to work quite hard on my second set but I managed to find the time.
"It's all to play for, although I'd have liked Will to be a little bit further down!"
After a test at Anglesey, Buller felt that he had cracked his qualifying maladies since returning to the Fortec Motorsport team and put in by far his most convincing pace to date this year.
"I'm pretty happy with the car, although the second set of tyres didn't go to plan and I didn't find any time on them," said Buller, who will start from the front row for the first and third races.
The other man in with a realistic shout of the title, Antonio Giovinazzi, lapped third quickest in his Double R Racing machine, narrowly edging out the Carlin pair of Nicholas Latifi and Jann Mardenborough. Felipe Guimaraes completes the top six.
As expected, Sun Zheng - who cannot be caught in the points by any of his rivals at the Nurburgring - topped the National Class in his CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda.
Race one grid: Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 1m49.947s 2. Will Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m50.314s +0.367s 3. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc 1m50.595s +0.648s 4. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW 1m50.626s +0.679s 5. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 1m50.900s +0.953s 6. Felipe Guimaraes Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m50.935s +0.988s 7. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1m51.413s +1.466s 8. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc 1m51.737s +1.790s 9. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc 1m52.095s +2.148s 10. Alfonso Celis Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m52.511s +2.564s 11. Zheng Sun CF Dallara-Mugen 1m53.972s +4.025s* 12. Chris Vlok West-Tec Dallara-Toyota 1m54.942s +4.995s* 13. Will Barbosa West-Tec Dallara-Toyota 1m58.751s +8.804s* * National class Race three grid: Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 1m49.905s 2. Will Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m50.017s +0.112s 3. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc 1m50.463s +0.558s 4. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 1m50.485s +0.580s 5. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW 1m50.582s +0.677s 6. Felipe Guimaraes Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m50.870s +0.965s 7. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1m51.164s +1.259s 8. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc 1m51.445s +1.540s 9. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc 1m51.719s +1.814s 10. Alfonso Celis Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m52.123s +2.218s 11. Zheng Sun CF Dallara-Mugen 1m53.559s +3.654s* 12. Chris Vlok West-Tec Dallara-Toyota 1m54.897s +4.992s* 13. Will Barbosa West-Tec Dallara-Toyota 1m58.440s +8.535s* *National class Race two grid is partially reversed race one result