Team Australia's Will Power backed up his sensational home race performance in Surfers Paradise three weeks ago with the third quickest time in opening qualifying for this weekend's final round of the Champ Car World Series in Mexico City today.
Power, born and bred in Toowoomba, Queensland, struggled a little in the morning practice, but some positive changes to his Aussie Vineyards Team Australia Lola allowed him to be immediately on the pace in the afternoon qualifying.
He continually traded provisional pole with Englishman Justin Wilson and then the pair were beaten to the top of the time sheet by reigning series champion Sebastian Bourdais in the dying minutes.
Power's team-mate Alex Tagliani was fourth fastest in morning practice, but was 14th in qualifying after electing not to use a set of his quickest Bridgestone "red" tyres.
The talented Canadian is expected to make some major gains in the final qualifying session tomorrow.
Power is on target to become the first Australian to win the Champ Car Rookie of the Year title. He currently leads English driver Dan Clarke by 15 points.
In the worse case scenario in which Clarke took the pole tomorrow and then won Sunday's race, Power would have to finish fifth or better to clinch the Rookie title.
"Until the lead up to the Australian race we had not done much testing," said Power, driver of the #5 Team Australia Aussie Vineyards Lola
"We did a shaker-rig test and that obviously helped us a lot, so we decided to do the same in the lead-up to this race.
"It is good to race another track for the second time. You just save so much time and your tyres when you go out on a track where you know your way around.