Jamie Whincup claimed a 91st career ARMOR ALL Pole Position for Race 18 at the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint.
Whincup recorded his time with two seconds remaining in the 10-minute session, just seconds after van Gisbergen vaulted to the top.
It was Whincup's seventh Townsville pole, taking him above Scott McLaughlin's tally of six.
The 12-time Townsville race winner wiped 0.247s off van Gisbergen’s 1:13.465s, but the series leader managed to go around for another lap.
Chaz Mostert split the two Red Bull Ampol entries with a 1:13.406s, but there remained a nervous wait as van Gisbergen continued on.
It was to avail for the Kiwi, however, with van Gisbergen falling short by just 0.069s.
Whincup’s pole-winning 1:13.218s proved 0.6s slower than Anton De Pasquale’s corresponding time in Saturday’s Top Ten Shootout.
The session began in drama, with the left-rear wheel parting company with Tim Slade's #3 CoolDrive Mustang at the back of the circuit.
“I can’t really enjoy this one, we’ve got 10 minutes and straight back out again,” said Whincup, who was fourth in Saturday's race after copping a time penalty.
“Track’s crazy different… pole with a 13.2, I never thought that would happen.
“Just trying to keep tracking it better, and we’ll have a crack now.”
Will Davison was 0.292s adrift in fourth ahead of David Reynolds and Saturday winner Cameron Waters, followed by Erebus Motorsport duo Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki.
Race 17 pole winner De Pasquale was the big shock of the session; the Shell V-Power Racing Team driver could only manage the 14th-best time.
It marked De Pasquale’s worst qualifying performance of the season by some margin, his previous worst being eighth at Sandown in March.
The 39-lap Race 18 will commence at 12:45pm AEST, ahead of Race 19 at 3:40pm.