Joey Hand set the pace for BMW in free practice for this weekend's DTM round at Austria's Spielberg circuit. The American, who took the best result of his DTM career with fifth place last time out at Brands Hatch, went to the top of the times for RBM with just seconds of the 90-minute session remaining, knocking Filipe Albuquerque off the top spot.
Hand's lap of 1m25.467 was 0.225 seconds faster than championship leader Mike Rockenfeller's best, as the Phoenix Audi driver knocked Albuquerque's Team Rosberg RS5 down to third by the checkered flag.
The season's star rookie, Marco Wittmann, was fourth in his MTEK BMW with Edoardo Mortara completing a good session for Team Rosberg in fifth, despite being launched a long way into the air after clobbering a "sausage curb" at Turn 1 late on.
Abt Audi teammates Adrien Tambay and Jamie Green were next up with the BMWs of Timo Glock (MTEK), champion Bruno Spengler (Schnitzer) and Martin Tomczyk (RMG) completing the top 10.
The best of the Mercedes drivers was Daniel Juncadella in 15th, this despite the RSC Mucke driver taking a trip through the gravel after locking his rear to prevent a spin exiting Turn 5. His teammate Pascal Wehrlein finished the session watching from the side of the track after his C-Coupe ground to a halt at the same point on the track with a few minutes remaining.
Andy Priaulx was another to go through the gravel; the RMG BMW man repeating Juncadella's earlier excursion.
There was nearly a big accident early on when Christian Vietoris pulled out from behind Green to pass the Briton approaching Turn 2. Vietoris failed to realize that his HWA Mercedes teammate Roberto Merhi had slowed on the inside to let both by and had to quickly duck back in behind the Audi to avoid a collision.