Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position ahead of this afternoon's World Series race at the Nurburgring, the man from Heppenheim delighting his home crowd
On a strong showing by Carlin Motorsport, Vettel's teammate Mikhail Aleshin topped the slower B qualifying group and will start on the outside of the front row.
As the only man to break into the 1 minute 42 seconds, Vettel was surprised by his performance.
"I didn't expect to be setting those sorts of times," he said. "It was a little colder than practice yesterday and took two or three laps to really get the tyres working.
"At the moment I haven't made a plan for the race, a lot will depend on how the first corner goes as it's, how shall we say, 'tricky' with 30 cars slowing down to 60km/h."
Ben Hanley put in late effort to overhaul Alvaro Parente for second position in the A group, the Briton just a tenth shy of Vettel's time.
Both groups enjoyed clean sessions, bereft of incidents.
Milos Pavlovic was the first to the track in the B group, but it was Cram's Fairuz Fauzy who set the early running. Pavlovic and his Draco teammate, Seville's Alvaro Barba, held down second and third positions.
With six minutes of the session remaining Giedo van der Garde briefly went to the top, before there was a sudden flurry of activity. Davide Valsecchi moved into second place, only for the chasing Pavlovic to immediately displace him.
Moments later Aleshin set his fastest time of 1:43.511, which would prove unbeatable.
"I'm very happy, not just because I think we will have good speed for the race, but also in that I have only used one set of tyres," said Aleshin. The four points earned move Aleshin ahead of Alvaro Parente into a slender championship lead.
Barba, who had shone in the pre-season Nurburgring test, moved into second place in the group, after completing his lap seconds before the chequered flag.
On his final run, an opportunity to improve further was denied when compatriot Celso Miguez hit trouble out on track. Barba will start fourth.
In group A, Vettel was initially challenged by Alvaro Parente. The Portuguese had exchanged the second fastest time with Hanley before he usurped Vettel by just five hundredths of a second with six of the twenty minute session to go.
Parente's reign ended as Vettel and Hanley bumped the Tech 1 driver down to third in the dying stages.
"It was nip-and-tuck," said Ben. "Throughout the session we had been p2 and p3, but on my first lap I had a yellow flag and on the second I found some traffic.
"On that last lap I actually locked the wheel into the first corner which cost me a tiny bit of time, but I am really looking forward to the race."
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Sebastian Vettel Carlin Motorsport 1:42.984 2. Michael Aleshin Carlin Motorsport 1:43.511 + 0.527 3. Ben Hanley Prema Powerteam 1:43.063 + 0.079 4. Alvaro Barba International Draco Racing 1:43.547 + 0.563 5. Alvaro Parente Tech 1 Racing 1:43.323 + 0.339 6. Clivio Piccione RC Motorsport 1:43.852 + 0.868 7. Filipe Albuquerque Epsilon Euskadi 1:43.685 + 0.701 8. Marco Bonanomi RC Motorsport 1:43.999 + 1.015 9. Julien Jousse Tech 1 Racing 1:44.094 + 1.110 10. Davide Valsecchi Epsilon Euskadi 1:44.081 + 1.097 11. Guillaume Moreau KTR 1:44.178 + 1.194 12. Fairuz Fauzy Cram Competition 1:44.112 + 1.128 13. Salvador Duran Interwetten.com 1:44.230 + 1.246 14. Giedo van der Garde Victory Engineering 1:44.143 + 1.159 15. Alejandro Nunez Red Devil Team Comtec 1:44.267 + 1.283 16. James Walker Fortec Motorsport 1:44.172 + 1.188 17. Charlie Kimball Victory Engineering 1:44.511 + 1.527 18. Milos Pavlovic International Draco Racing 1:44.244 + 1.260 19. Pasquale di Sabatino GD Racing 1:44.911 + 1.927 20. Miguel Molina Pons Racing 1:44.386 + 1.402 21. Michael Herck Red Devil Team Comtec 1:45.207 + 2.223 22. Yelmer Buurman Fortec Motorsport 1:44.460 + 1.476 23. Daniil Move Interwetten.com 1:45.411 + 2.427 24. Ricardo Risatti GD Racing 1:44.493 + 1.509 25. Pippa Mann Cram Competition 1:45.763 + 2.779 26. Bertrand Baguette KTR 1:44.501 + 1.517 27. Alessandro Ciompi Eurointernational 1:45.959 + 2.975 28. Carlos Iaconelli Pons Racing 1:44.524 + 1.540 29. Xavier Maassen Prema Powerteam 1:46.322 + 3.338 30. Celso Miguez Eurointernational 1:45.220 + 2.236
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