Loic Duval and Allan McNish claimed pole position for Audi at the Austin round of the World Endurance Championship.
Duval and McNish set a four-lap average of 1m48.355s at the wheel of the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro to take pole from team-mates Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer by just under three tenths of a second.
The Frenchman revealed that he had made a mistake at the beginning of his first flying lap and missed the apex at Turn 1. He followed that lap in the 1m48s bracket with the only two 1m47s laps of the 25-minute session.
Duval said: "This is important for us. This is one point for the championship and one point for Audi in the manufacturers' championship, which we can seal this weekend."
Lotterer said: "I was happy with my laps, but Marcel struggled a little bit to put it together. I closed the gap a little bit to Allan, but Loic had already put in two pretty good laps."
Toyota's solo TS030 HYBRID ended up third fastest, a further second behind the #1 Audi, in the hands of Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Buemi.
Sarrazin reckoned the gap would have been smaller had he not been hit up the rear and spun around at Turn 1 by Jan Charouz in one of the Lotus-Praga T128s on his second flying lap.
"I was going to do four laps, so I lost two laps," he explained. "We would have been closer, but we would still have been third."
The G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 03 driven by John Martin and Mike Conway claimed its second consecutive LMP2 pole.
Their average put them almost exactly one second ahead of the second-place OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan LMP2 shared by Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle.
ASTON LEADS GTE QUALIFYING
Frederic Makowiecki and Bruno Senna took pole in GTE Pro for Aston Martin Racing despite a slow puncture in the left front tyre of the Vantage GTE.
Senna came out on top in a battle with team-mate Richie Stanaway, who set the quickest GTE time of the session in the car he shared in qualifying with Pedro Lamy.
Patrick Pilet improved on his final lap in the best of the factory Porsche 911 RSRs to take second position together with Jorg Bergmeister.
GTE Am honours went to Matteo Malucelli and Rui Aguas in the 8Star Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia. Aguas improved on his fourth lap to leapfrog the car ahead of the AMR Aston shared by Nicki Thiim and Christoffer Nygaard by just one hundredth of a second.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. P1 Kristensen/Duval/McNish Audi 1m48.355s 2. P1 Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler Audi 1m48.617s +0.262s 3. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 1m49.696s +1.341s 4. P1 Prost/Heidfeld/Beche Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m52.081s +3.726s 5. P2 Rusinov/Martin/Conway Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 1m54.951s 6. P2 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Morgan-Nissan 1m55.961s +1.010s 7. P2 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Morgan-Nissan 1m56.033s +1.082s 8. P2 Perez Companc/Minassian/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 1m56.248s +1.297s 9. P2 Graves/Walker/Junco Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 1m57.067s +2.116s 10. P2 Weeda/Liuzzi/Rossiter Lotus 1m57.817s +2.866s 11. P2 Zugel/Dyson/Kimber-Smith Greaves Zytek-Nissan 1m57.940s +2.989s 12. P2 Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz Lotus 1m59.453s +4.502s 13. GTE P Senna/Makowiecki Aston Martin 2m04.628s 14. GTE P Bergmeister/Pilet Manthey Porsche 2m04.898s +0.270s 15. GTE P Dalla Lana/Lamy/Stanaway Aston Martin 2m04.919s +0.291s 16. GTE P Kobayashi/Vilander AF Ferrari 2m05.073s +0.445s 17. GTE P Lieb/Lietz Manthey Porsche 2m05.088s +0.460s 18. GTE P Mucke/Turner/Gavin Aston Martin 2m05.214s +0.586s 19. GTE P Bruni/Fisichella AF Ferrari 2m05.348s +0.720s 20. GTE A Potolicchio/Aguas/Malucelli 8Star Ferrari 2m06.515s 21. GTE A Nygaard/Poulsen/Thiim Aston Martin 2m06.528s +0.013s 22. GTE A Gerber/Griffin/Cioci AF Ferrari 2m06.593s +0.078s 23. GTE A Hall/Campbell-Walter Aston Martin 2m07.117s +0.602s 24. GTE A Narac/Vernay Imsa Porsche 2m07.120s +0.605s 25. GTE A Ried/Roda/Ruberti Proton Porsche 2m07.931s +1.416s 26. GTE A Bornhauser/Canal/Rees Larbre Corvette 2m08.132s +1.617s 27. GTE A Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani Krohn Ferrari 2m10.029s +3.514s 28. P2 Nicolet/Merlin/Maris OAK Morgan-Nissan