Felix Rosenqvist topped the first day of qualifying for the Macau Grand Prix with a blistering lap three minutes before the end of the half-hour session.
The Swede, the runner-up in this year's Formula 3 European Championship, edged out 2012 Macau GP winner Antonio Felix da Costa by just over a tenth of a second.
Rosenqvist did not get a tow on his hot lap and as a result was half a second down on his previous pace through the flat-out first sector, but was a mighty seven tenths quicker than anyone else through the tortuous middle part of the lap.
It was a strong recovery after he crashed his Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes in free practice this morning.
"I screwed my tyres in free practice so I needed to put new tyres on at the start of the session," said Rosenqvist. "It was a stupid mistake but I knew what I could do.
"I feel really confident, especially in the second sector, which is really good.
"I feel with a slipstream I could improve quite a lot, and I was still leaving a bit of margin in the last two corners."
Da Costa felt as though he had fully got to grips with his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen by the end of qualifying.
"I'm happy with today - I was just getting used to it," he said. "But this is like free practice really. The times will be a lot quicker tomorrow."
Alexander Sims headed an all-British second row in the ThreeBond/Nissan-powered T-Sport Dallara from Carlin runner Harry Tincknell.
Pipo Derani was fifth in his Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Merc, ahead of the Carlin machine of Carlos Sainz Jr, who needed a new gearbox after his practice shunt.
Stefano Coletti, European F3 champion Raffaele Marciello, Kevin Korjus and Jazeman Jaafar completed the top 10.
It was a bad session for 2012 poleman Alex Lynn, who was 26th in the times after crashing at Fisherman's Bend.
Prema team-mate Esteban Ocon also failed to finish the session on his debut in a current F3 car: he brushed the wall and was forced to pull off the track.
The session was red-flagged with a minute and a half remaining after Japanese champion Yuichi Nakayama crashed heavily at the Solitude Esses. The TOM'S driver was unhurt.
Lucas Wolf did not take part after his crash in morning practice.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m12.751s 2. Antonio Felix da Costa Carlin Dallara-VW 2m12.862s +0.111s 3. Alexander Sims T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 2m13.196s +0.445s 4. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 2m13.518s +0.767s 5. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m13.646s +0.895s 6. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW 2m13.715s +0.964s 7. Stefano Coletti Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 2m13.777s +1.026s 8. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 2m13.831s +1.080s 9. Kevin Korjus Double R Dallara-Merc 2m13.870s +1.119s 10. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW 2m14.087s +1.336s 11. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc 2m14.262s +1.511s 12. Tom Blomqvist Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m14.315s +1.564s 13. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 2m14.453s +1.702s 14. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc 2m14.506s +1.755s 15. Yuhi Sekiguchi Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m14.553s +1.802s 16. Will Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m14.591s +1.840s 17. Yuichi Nakayama TOM'S Dallara-Toyota 2m14.664s +1.913s 18. Esteban Ocon Prema Dallara-Merc 2m15.119s +2.368s 19. Katsumasa Chiyo B-Max Dallara-Toyota 2m15.253s +2.502s 20. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 2m15.350s +2.599s 21. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m15.881s +3.130s 22. Nelson Mason Zeller Dallara-Merc 2m15.949s +3.198s 23. Ed Jones Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m16.094s +3.343s 24. Dennis van de Laar Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m16.473s +3.722s 25. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc 2m17.334s +4.583s 26. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 2m18.088s +5.337s 27. Sun Zheng Double R Dallara-Merc 2m20.906s +8.155s