Tom Kristensen caused a mini sensation on his DTM return by going fastest in the opening free practice session at Lausitz.
Kristensen has not raced in the DTM since 2009 and is only replacing Mike Rockenfeller at the Abt Audi squad this weekend while he recovers from his heavy Le Mans 24 Hours crash last weekend. None of that slowed down the 43-year-old Dane though as he took his A4 to the top of the times in 1m19.412s with six minutes of the session remaining. That time was good enough to displace the older-spec Phoenix Audi of Spielberg winner Martin Tomczyk by 0.026sec in what was an extremely close 90 minutes.
Timo Scheider made it an all-Audi top three while Christian Vietoris was the best Mercedes driver in his older-spec, Persson-run car in fourth.
Filipe Albuquerque (Rosberg Audi), David Coulthard (Mucke Mercedes), Renger van der Zande (Persson Mercedes) and Oliver Jarvis (Abt Audi) were next up, while Susie Stoddart was an impressive ninth quickest in her Persson Mercedes.
Fresh from extending his Mercedes contract, Gary Paffett was the best of the HWA drivers in 13th, one spot ahead of his championship-leading teammate Bruno Spengler.
Ralf Schumacher was 17th, but less than 0.9sec off the pace set by Kristensen.
Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1. Tom Kristensen Audi 1m19.412s 40
2. Martin Tomczyk Audi 1m19.438s + 0.026 37
3. Timo Scheider Audi 1m19.468s + 0.056 28
4. C.Vietoris Mercedes 1m19.572s + 0.160 30
5. F.Albuquerque Audi 1m19.628s + 0.216 40
6. David Coulthard Mercedes 1m19.728s + 0.316 29
7. R.van der Zande Mercedes 1m19.730s + 0.318 37
8. Oliver Jarvis Audi 1m19.800s + 0.388 36
9. Susie Stoddart Mercedes 1m19.839s + 0.427 32
10. Miguel Molina Audi 1m19.899s + 0.487 38
11. Edoardo Mortara Audi 1m19.923s + 0.511 44
12. Mattias Ekström Audi 1m20.056s + 0.644 26
13. Gary Paffett Mercedes 1m20.117s + 0.705 35
14. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 1m20.191s + 0.779 30
15. Jamie Green Mercedes 1m20.206s + 0.794 44
16. Maro Engel Mercedes 1m20.228s + 0.816 32
17. Ralf Schumacher Mercedes 1m20.284s + 0.872 31
18. Rahel Frey Audi 1m21.298s + 1.886 16