Oman Racing Team will start Friday’s Gulf 12 Hours from the overall pole, with the lone Aston Martin in the field outpacing the armada of Ferraris and pair of Mercedes in qualifying Thursday at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Aston Martin Racing factory drivers Darren Turner, Jonny Adam plus Ahmad Al Harthy combined for a best three-lap average of 2:09.688 in the session.
The trio edged out the No. 2 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt and Yelmer Buurman by 0.083 seconds for the pole.
The No. 1 Black Falcon Mercedes will line up third following an unlucky run for Jeroen Bleekmolen in Q3, when the gull-winged beast slowed with a battery problem.
Bleekemolen rejoined with a new battery but was only able to set the fourth quickest time in the session, some two-tenths slower than co-driver Maro Engel.
The No. 11 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, which topped the majority of Free Practice sessions this week, will roll off from fourth on the grid, despite Ferrari factory driver Davide Rigon setting the quickest lap of the session.
Completing the top-five overall was the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari, which was also the quickest of the Pro-Am class competitors.
Top Gentlemen class honors went to the No. 65 Kessel Racing Ferrari, featuring motorcycle champion Loris Capirossi, who makes his four-wheeled endurance racing debut this weekend.
MRS-GT Racing, meanwhile, will start from the pole in the Porsche Cup class, with Americans Charles Espenlaub, Charlie Putman and Dutchman Xavier Maassen outpacing the competition by three seconds.
The fifth running of the Gulf 12 Hours, split up into two six-hour segments, gets underway Friday at 9:30 a.m. local time (12:30 a.m. ET).