Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader Robin Frijns snatched pole position for the first race of the weekend in Hungary in the dying seconds of qualifying
The Fortec driver, who leads a tight three-way points battle (Sam Bird is five behind and Jules Bianchi six) had set the pace for the majority of the first half of the session at the Hungaroring, responding every time someone knocked him off top spot.
However, he was not really a factor as the fight for pole heated up once everybody took on their second set of new tyres. Then, with just four seconds left on the clock, the Dutchman returned to the top of the timing screens, displacing Carlin's Kevin Magnussen by just 0.028 seconds.
Magnussen had been one of Frijns's biggest challengers in the first half of the session, and the McLaren-backed driver then seemed to have everyone covered as he set two laps good enough for pole in the last five minutes, before the championship leader just slipped ahead.
Bianchi, who lost the first six minutes of the session when he returned to the garage with a right rear puncture after his out-lap, had been giving Magnussen a hard time before Frijns popped up to knock him off the front row. The Ferrari junior driver ended the session just 0.086s shy of top spot.
Arthur Pic was a consistent presence towards the front and took fourth, as he was the only driver to improve at the chequered flag. Behind him, Marco Sorensen and Antonio Felix da Costa will share the third row.
Carlos Huertas briefly looked like a contender for a shock pole when he went fastest with just two minutes left, but the second Fortec driver had to settle for seventh in the end, just ahead of Alexander Rossi.
While Frijns and Bianchi were fighting it out at the front, their fellow title contender Bird had a difficult session, finishing up 10th and seven tenths of a second off the pace.
The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season will be notable for being the last with the French company's backing but also produced a worthy champion in Oliver Rowland. PETER MILLS evaluates this year's crop of drivers
Last year's field was extraordinary and hard to match, but the Formula Renault 3.5 grid will still have plenty of talent this season. Glenn Freeman runs through the field ahead of this weekend's season opener
Landing the Fortec seat that took rising star Robin Frijns to the 2012 FR3.5 title was already a good sign for Stoffel Vandoorne. Then McLaren took him under its wing. Peter Mills tells Vandoorne's story so far