Mattias Ekstrom took pole position for Sunday's DTM race at Valencia, edging Bruno Spengler by just 0.016 seconds in the pole position shootout. The Audi driver was the last to run of the four drivers in Q4 and, after having a good margin after the first two sectors, he lost one and a half tenths in the final third of the lap, which only just kept him ahead of Spengler's effort.
Behind them, Oliver Jarvis claimed third position, while championship leader Gary Paffett had to make do with fourth after a difficult lap which started with a wild slide at the first corner.
Paul di Resta missed the cut in Q3 but was best of the rest in fifth place, while the remaining places in the top eight went to the 2008-spec Audis of Mike Rockenfeller, Miguel Molina and Alexandre Premat.
The strength of the older Audis proved costly for their 2009 counterparts, as Martin Tomczyk and reigning champion Timo Scheider were eliminated in Q2, leaving them ninth and 10th on the grid respectively.
Further back, David Coulthard improved on his Hockenheim qualifying performance as he made it into Q2 for the first time. The Scot will share the seventh row of the grid with fellow grand prix winner Ralf Schumacher.