Luca Engstler edged out new Liqui Moly Team Engstler team-mate Mitchell Cheah to secure the first TCR Asia Series pole position of 2018 in Sepang.
Engstler was a mere 0.015 seconds faster than the Malaysian racer, who had earlier been second fastest to his other team-mate Diego Moran in Q1.
In the end, it was young German Engstler who secured the pole position, with Cheah beating Moran in the all-important Q2, as Engstler Motorsport drivers locked out the top three positions on the grid.
Maximum Racing’s Lo Sze Ho was fourth fastest in his 2017-spec Honda Civic, heading up a quintet of five Honda drivers in a row.
R Engineering Malaysian duo Akash Nandy and Abdul Kaathir were fifth and sixth fastest respectively, ahead of the leading TCR Thailand entry of Billionaire Boy Racing’s Chariya Nuya in seventh.
Thai drivers completed the top ten, with Vattana Motorsport’s Pattarapol Vongrai in eighth, Alphafactory Racing’s Kakraphan Davee in ninth and Morin Racing’s Nattanid Leewattanavaragul in tenth.
Sunday’s opening two races of the season take place at 10:05 local time (03:05 BST, 04:05 CEST) and 16:00 local time (09:00 BST, 10:00 CEST).