Adrian Valles gave Liverpool their first Superleague Formula pole position with a superb effort in qualifying at Vallelunga in Italy.
Spaniard Valles, who had only been fourth quickest in his qualifying group, took on the AC Milan car of Robert Doornbos in the head-to-head showdown and, electing to drop well behind on his out-lap, delivered pole in a time of 1:21.855.
Valles had previously beaten Tuka Rocha in the semi-finals, the Brazilian giving Flamengo their best Superleague grid spot in fourth. It could have been even better for him though had he not mysteriously slowed and allowed Valles by coming out of the final corner of the lap.
Doornbos, who set the quickest time of the weekend in the penultimate shoot-out session, also overtook his rival, Davide Rigon in the championship-leading Beijing Guoan car, in his semi-final. The Dutchman's final time was 0.260 seconds slower than that of Valles.
The quarter-finals threw up a few surprises, the biggest coming in the opening heat when Corinthians Antonio Pizzonia - the pace-setter in qualifying Group A - was beaten by Valles and resigned to eighth spot on the grid.
Ahead of him, but failing to make the semi-finals, were Roma's Franck Perera, Anderlecht's Craig Dolby - the best of the British drivers in sixth - and Galatasaray's Alessandro Pierguidi.
Prior to the shoot-out, there was excitement in the two 15-minute qualifying groups. The entertainment in Group A was provided by Doornbos, who had lay outside the top four positions for the entire session before popping up with P2 on his final flyer and knocking Atletico Madrid's Andy Soucek out.
Group B was red flagged after five minutes, Enrico Toccacelo having nosed into the tyres at the ultra-tight Tornantino hairpin, removed his car's front wing and stalled the engine. But the real action came at the end of the session as Valles and Rocha both took turns at the top in the final 90 seconds before Rigon - the early pace-setter, re-asserted himself at the end.
The Al Ain car missed qualifying. Driver Paul Meijer had x-rays on an injured hand after a practice crash, which confirmed he had no broken bones. It remains to be seen whether he will be passed fit to race.
The grid: Pos Team Driver Time 1. Liverpool Adrian Valles 1:21.855 2. AC Milan Robert Doornbos 1:22.115 3. Beijing Guoan David Rigon 1:23.907 4. Flamengo Tuka Rocha 1:30.010 5. Galatasaray Alessandro Pierguidi 1:22.771 6. Anderlecht Craig Dolby 1:22.645 7. Roma Franck Perera 1:21.998 8. Corinthians Antonio Pizzonia 1:22.627 9. Atletico Madrid Andy Soucek 1:22.833 10. Rangers Ryan Dalziel 1:23.498 11. PSV Eindhoven Yelmer Buurman 1:23.229 12. Basel Max Wissel 1:23.464 13. Tottenham Hotspur Duncan Tappy 1:24.345 14. Sevilla Borja Garcia 1:23.758 15. Porto Tristan Gommendy 1:24.516 16. Olympiakos Stamatis Katimis 1:24.661 17. Al Ain Paul Meijer No Time 18. Borussia Dortmund Enrico Toccacelo No Time