Championship leader Oliver Rowland claimed his third Formula Renault 3.5 pole position of the season at the Red Bull Ring
The Racing Steps-backed Briton set his fastest lap of 1m17.641s two minutes before the chequered flag in the half-hour session.
Fortec driver Rowland edged out Lotus twins Marlon Stockinger and title contender Matthieu Vaxiviere by two tenths of a second, and admitted the result had been a surprise after a tough free practice session on Saturday morning.
"To be honest, I just drove like a nutter and the car stayed on the road," said Rowland.
"I wasn't expecting to set pole. We were in trouble in practice this morning, but we made quite a lot of changes and the car is better.
"The times are a lot slower than this morning because the temperature has risen and, perhaps, because of the ELMS rubber.
"There is still more to come, though. I am not entirely satisfied with the car balance. If I want another pole this afternoon I am going to really have to work for it."
Front-row starting FR3.5 returnee Stockinger has recent experience of the Spielberg track from contesting the GP2 meeting last month for his regular team Status.
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