Sam Bird and Mika Maki set identical times at the top of the order Formula 3 Euro Series free practice at Norisring on Friday afternoon, with Bird getting the top spot having set his time first.
The British driver, who took pole position for the season opener at Hockenheim, had his lap of 49.371s matched by Maki's final effort of the one-hour session.
Behind them, rookie Alexander Sims showed impressive pace to be less than one tenth of a second off the pace, ahead of the experienced Jean-Karl Vernay.
Recent F3 Masters winner Valtteri Bottas was the top ART car in fifth, as the French team experimented with a radical rear wing set-up on two of its other cars.
Championship leader Jules Bianchi ran the wing - which features no top element and very small endplates – throughout the session on his way to eighth place, while Adrien Tambay also experimented with it.
Bianchi occasionally troubled the top five on the timesheets, but by the end of the session he was 0.3s off the pace, while Tambay was another four tenths back in 14th place.
Mucke Motorsport continued the strong form it has shown in the early races by getting all of its cars into the top seven. Local driver Marco Wittmann was sixth quickest, while Christian Vietoris was ahead of Bianchi as the pair set the same lap times.
Further down the order, British F3 race winner Nick Tandy was 21st after completing the most laps of every driver, as he prepares to make his Euro Series debut for the Kolles & Heinz Union outfit.