Augusto Farfus kept the battle for the DTM title alive with a commanding victory for BMW at Oschersleben.
The Brazilian started second on the grid, but outdragged Jamie Green's pole-sitting Abt Sportsline Audi into the first corner and opened up a 1.5-second lead immediately in his RBM-run M3.
Unlike Farfus, Green and the fast-starting Bruno Spengler, championship leader Mike Rockenfeller had started on the harder-compound standard tires, and led a gaggle of cars into the pits as the mandatory stop window opened on lap four.
Once on the softer option Hankooks, the Phoenix Audi man took large chunks of time out of the trio while in clear air and was able to run on Farfus's tail during the second stint.
While Farfus gradually drew away by over 6sec to take his second win of the season, Rockenfeller and Green circulated in formation to complete the podium positions.
Rockenfeller's result means his championship lead was reduced slightly from 35 points to 33. He will win the title with a second-placed finish in either of the two remaining races.
Filipe Albuquerque followed Rockenfeller into the pits on lap four and ran alone for much of the afternoon to take his first points finish of the year in fourth in his Team Rosberg Audi.
One place further back – and also taking his best finish of the year – was Timo Scheider. The two-time champion employed a longer-than-most middle stint on options to take fifth, having run eighth early on.
Gary Paffett marked his 100th DTM start by finishing best of the Mercedes drivers in sixth while Mattias Ekstrom emerged at the head of a five-car battle over the closing stages for seventh.
Edoardo Mortara was last at the end of the opening lap after stalling on the line, but long stints on both standard and option tires put him in clear air for much of the race and he finished 10th, right on the tail of Ekstrom, Miguel Molina and Adrien Tambay.
After running third and sixth early on, the Schnitzer BMWs of Spengler and Dirk Werner showed a severe lack of race pace on standard tiies.
Spengler's race – and his title hopes – ended when he spun Robert Wickens around at Turn 3 while squabbling over 12th spot. Wickens also retired as a result.
The incident remained under investigation as the race ended, Spengler insisting that Wickens was slower than normal into the corner.
Also losing out to incidents were Andy Priaulx – spun at Turn 2 by Daniel Juncadella when on course to finish in the top 10 – and his RMG teammate Martin Tomczyk, who was given a drive-through penalty after being judged to have jumped the start.
Christian Vietoris, who began the race second in the points, struggled all weekend and finished 18th.
Results - 51 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 1h11m40.894s
2. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi +6.298s
3. Jamie Green Abt Audi +6.912s
4. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi +10.837s
5. Timo Scheider Abt Audi +13.325s
6. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes +14.707s
7. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi +21.980s
8. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi +22.692s
9. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi +23.109s
10. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi +23.977s
11. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Mercedes +24.136s
12. Marco Wittmann MTEK BMW +29.004s
13. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW +36.997s
14. Roberto Merhi HWA Mercedes +38.620s
15. Timo Glock MTEK BMW +48.244s
16. Joey Hand RBM BMW +48.756s
17. Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes +49.751s
18. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes +58.626s
19. Andy Priaulx RMG BMW +1m10.973s
20. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW +2 laps
Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 40 laps
Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 38 laps