Britain set up a great chance of winning the first gold medal awarded at the Laoshan Velodrome by qualifying for the first round of the team sprint in unofficial record time.
The British three of Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy recorded the fastest time on a 750 metres track by finishing in 42.950 seconds.
France set the previous best time of 43.271secs when they beat Britain in the final at the last World Championships, held in Manchester in March.
Britain will now face Russia in the first round when a similar time will see them comfortably qualify for the gold medal final - probably against France who were next quickest at 43.541.
There is no world record for the event as the team sprint is held over three laps, regardless of the size of the track.