Hexis pairing Alvaro Parente and Gregoire Demoustier took their first World GT1 pole position of the season at Moscow Raceway this weekend, heading a one-two for the McLaren MP4-12C.
After Demoustier had guided the car through Q2, Parente took pole in the final qualifying segment ahead of his team-mate Fred Makowiecki.
It marked a return to form after a torrid weekend for the Hexis team in Slovakia two weeks previously, and returned the Makowiecki/Stef Dusseldorp pairing to the title hunt.
Another significant event in the title battle was an engine failure for the championship-leading Vita4One Racing team BMW Z4 of Michael Bartels and Yelmer Buurman.
Buurman looked poised to set the fastest time of Q1, when he pulled into the pits with smoke pouring from under the bonnet. This eliminated the pair from qualifying as they were yet to set a competitive laptime, forcing them to start from the back of the GT1 grid.
Ferrari also experienced something of a resurgence in qualifying. The AF Corse squad has struggled with tyre degradation so far this season, but in the cooler Moscow conditions it was able to get heat into the tyres quicker than its rivals.
Teams' championship leader All-Inkl could only guide its Mercedes to sixth and seventh places on the grid, Thomas Jager and Nicky Pastorelli outqualifying Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock.
They are separated from the top three by the two WRT Audis, with Stephane Ortelli taking to the grass at the final corner to end the session in fourth.
Pos Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. Parente/Demoustier Hexis McLaren 1m33.536s 2. Makowiecki/Dusseldorp Hexis McLaren 1m33.726s + 0.190s 3. Vilander/Salaquarda AF Ferrari 1m34.188s + 0.652s 4. Ortelli/Vanthoor WRT Audi 1m34.306s + 0.770s 5. Stippler/Jarvis WRT Audi 1m34.376s + 0.840s 6. Jager/Pastorelli Munnich Mercedes 1m34.381s + 0.845s 7. Winkelhock/Basseng Munnich Mercedes 1m34.683s + 1.147s 8. Ide/Castellacci AF Ferrari 1m34.965s + 1.429s 9. Ebrahim/Lariche SUNRED Ford 1m35.381s Q2 10. Mayr-Melnhof/Lauda Vita4One BMW 1m36.094s Q2 11. Buurman/Bartels Vita4One BMW 1m38.645s Q2