Paul di Resta took Mercedes' first DTM pole position of the season after a commanding performance in qualifying at Brands Hatch.
The Scottish driver set the pace in three of the four segments of qualifying, including the crucial four-way shootout for pole, where he edged Timo Scheider by less than one tenth of a second.
Tom Kristensen took third ahead of Bruno Spengler, who was unable to capitalise on being the last man to take to the track in the final session.
Nurburgring race winner Martin Tomczyk will line up fifth ahead of former champion Gary Paffett, while Mattias Ekstrom is seventh ahead of the top 2008 car of Jamie Green.
Oliver Jarvis was disappointed to be ninth after missing out on Q3 by five thousandths of a second, but he was still the fastest driver in a 2008-spec Audi, just in front of Markus Winkelhock.
Ralf Schumacher survived a scare in Q1 after he was baulked by Johannes Seidlitz while he was set to be eliminated from the session, but he bounced back to make it into Q2, and eventually qualified 11th.
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Paul di Resta Mercedes 41.750s
2. Timo Scheider Audi 41.831s
3. Tom Kristensen Audi 41.837s
4. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 41.938s
5. Martin Tomczyk Audi 41.777s
6. Gary Paffett Mercedes 41.825s
7. Mattias Ekstrom Audi 41.855s
8. Jamie Green Mercedes 41.986s
9. Oliver Jarvis Audi 41.773s
10. Markus Winkelhock Audi 41.821s
11. Ralf Schumacher Mercedes 41.896s
12. Mike Rockenfeller Audi 42.035s
13. Maro Engel Mercedes 42.463s
14. Susie Stoddart Mercedes 42.602s
15. Alexandre Premat Audi 42.258s
16. Katherine Legge Audi 42.294s
17. Mathias Lauda Mercedes 42.322s
18. Tomas Kostka Audi 42.786s
19. Christian Bakkerud Audi 43.111s
20. Johannes Seidlitz Audi 43.438s