Shane Van Giesbergen took center stage on his return to the Castrol Toyota Series Races at Hampton Downs Motorsport.
The Red Bull-backed driver set one minute and 30.231 seconds on his final lap to outperform Tasman Motorsports Group driver Chris van der Drift by just 0.067 seconds.
“Very cool,” Van Giesbergen said.
“I’ve been pulling it off all the weekend, getting close and guys did a great job.
“I couldn’t make the perfect lap, there was still a little bit of it.
“Great to be here.”
The session was initially led by Brendon Leach who traded the fastest times with Van der Drift in the first minutes.
Soon after, Van der Drift began to extend his legs and went on to extend his margin in 1: 30,501 seconds.
After sitting in the back of the top ten, Van Giesburgen jumped to second place by 1: 30.718 seconds.
Matthew Payne, who made his Toyota Racing Series debut, climbed to third with the session reaching the last few minutes.
Only four minutes remain for Van der Drift, Van Giesburgen, Payne, Caleb Ngatua, Leitch, Dan Gaunt, Peter Vodanovic, Konrad Clark, Billy Fraser and Andre Heimgartner.
When van der Drift crossed the line for the last time, he set 1: 30.298s before van Gisbergen overcame it in 1: 30.231s.
With the checkered flag emerging, Leach suffered a mechanical malfunction and ended up out of the way at the seventh turn, leaving him unable to improve in fifth place.
In the end, Van Giesbergen, Van der Drift, Payne, Ngatua, Leitch, Fraser, Vodanovic, Gaunt, Heimgartner and Clark led the session.
The fastest times to qualify will determine Grid for Race 2 at the weekend, while Grid is set to Race 1 at the second fastest time.
As such, Van der Drift will start the race on Saturday afternoon from first place while Van Giesbergen will line up in second and Payne in third.
The first race in the Toyota series kicks off at 16:30 local time (14:30 AEDT).
Castrol Toyota Racing Series New Zealand Grand Prix, Qualifiers 1 (fastest time):
|1||Shane Van Giesbergen||1: 30.231|
|2||Chris Van Der Drift||1: 30.298|
|3||Matthew Payne||1: 30.556|
|4||Caleb survived||1: 30.888|
|5||Brendon Leitch||1: 30.958|
|6||Billy Fraser||1: 31.089|
|7||Peter Vodanovich||1: 31.097|
|8||Daniel Gaunt||1: 31.133|
|9||Andre Heimgartner||1: 31.277|
|10||Conrad Clark||1: 31,330|
|11||Tom Alexander||1: 31.349|
|12||Greg Murphy||1: 31.465|
|13||Damon Leitch||1: 31.636|
|14||Joshua Python||1: 31.846|
|15||Chris Flock||1: 31.960|
|16||Ken Smith||1: 36,897|
New Zealand Grand Prix, Castrol Toyota Racing Championship, Qualifiers 1 (2nd fastest time):
|1||Shane Van Giesbergen||1: 30.416|
|2||Chris Van Der Drift||1: 30.519|
|3||Matthew Payne||1: 30.665|
|4||Caleb survived||1: 30.993|
|5||Brendon Leitch||1: 31.076|
|6||Billy Fraser||1: 31.171|
|7||Peter Vodanovich||1: 31.179|
|8||Daniel Gaunt||1: 31.185|
|9||Andre Heimgartner||1: 31.324|
|10||Conrad Clark||1: 31.410|
|11||Tom Alexander||1: 31,536|
|12||Greg Murphy||1: 31.584|
|13||Damon Leitch||1: 32.035|
|14||Joshua Python||1: 32.262|
|15||Chris Flock||1: 32.601|
|16||Ken Smith||1: 37.224|