Vauxhall's James Thompson took pole position for the first of tomorrow's (Sunday) final two Green Flag MSA British Touring Car rounds at Oulton Park, but predicted that each race could turn into a "demolition derby".
On a wet track, Thompson's pole position time was one minute, 37.260 seconds. Thompson effectively needs to win the race and hope Vauxhall team-mate Yvan Muller suffers a disaster if he is to stand any chance of retaining his crown.
Muller qualified fifth on the grid, behind Thompson, MG's Anthony Reid, Honda's Matt Neal and Vauxhall's third driver Paul O'Neill -- the Liverpudlian looking for a win on home ground.
Thompson, from Yorkshire, said: "I can remember being on pole here before and not even making it to the first corner -- but I'd rather end my race in the wall than be fighting for third in the championship.
"It's the end of the season, everyone wants to go out on a high and I can easily see these races turning into demolition derbies."
Rob Collard gave his chances of becoming Hilton Independents Trophy champion a boost by qualifying 10th overall and ahead of all his rivals.