Tom Ingram will start the opening round of the 2016 BTCC season from pole position after smashing the qualifying record with a lap time of 47.990s.
The Speedworks Toyota driver, who was also fastest in FP1, made the most of the track conditions, setting his fastest lap just before the circuit became greasy.
A late-session resurgence put some pressure on Ingram, but no-one could get near to his record-beating time.
Sam Tordoff, who topped FP2, was the first driver to go below last season's pole time, posting a 48.377s, before Honda's Gordon Shedden beat the West Surrey Racing BMW driver and came tantalisingly close to a sub 48-second lap with a 48.053s.
It was then that Ingram pulled out the lap of the day, blitzing the competition and becoming the only driver to go below the 48-second mark all weekend, setting a time of 47.990s
Matt Neal (Honda) and Ashley Sutton (MG) also set times below the previous qualifying best as they pushed Tordoff down to fifth.
During the final 10-minute rush, Tordoff managed to push Sutton back down to fifth, with Josh Cook joining his MG teammate on the third row.
Adam Morgan (Ciceley Mercedes), Jack Goff (MG), Mat Jackson (Motorbase Ford) and Aron Smith (BKR Volkswagen) rounded out the top 10 positions.
Goff had a nervy first qualifying with West Surrey Racing, spending the first half of the session lingering between 25th and 30th, before steadily rising up through the order and ending up eighth.
Colin Turkington was the best of the Team BMR Subaru Levorg drivers once again, taking 11th, while Jason Plato, Warren Scott and James Cole could only manage 23rd, 27th and 29th respectively.
James Charman / TouringCarTimes