Gary Paffett led an all-Mercedes front row in qualifying for the latest round of the DTM at the Norisring.
During a baking hot session that featured 122-degree track temperatures at the Nuremberg street circuit, Paffett, who had made it into Q4 by just 0.05 seconds in fourth place, was the first to set a time in 49.139s in his HWA-run C-coupe.
One by one his rivals Augusto Farfus, Jamie Green and Mattias Ekstrom failed to beat his marker, giving the championship leader his second pole position of 2012.
Green, who was third to set a time, failed to knock his teammate off pole by just 0.032s, but did enough to secure a front-row spot, ahead of Farfus' RBM BMW and Ekstrom's Abt Audi.
On his 37th birthday, Ralf Schumacher qualified a season's best fifth, the former Norisring polesitter being knocked out of a Q4 spot with two minutes to go by his team-mate Green.
Champion Martin Tomczyk put his RMG BMW sixth, ahead of the Schnitzer M3 of Bruno Spengler, HWA's Christian Vietoris and Britain's Andy Priaulx, who took his RBM BMW to its first top-10 starting spot since the Hockenheim season-opener.
Edoardo Mortara, who took his maiden DTM win at Spielberg last time out, will start 10th, having squeezed his Rosberg Audi into Q3 by just 0.004s and having made Q2 in 16th place by just 0.010s.
The lap that got Mortara into Q3 was just 0.2s slower than Ekstrom's 48.822s, which remained the quickest qualifying lap of all as rising temperatures caused the track surface to become every more slippery.
Surprisingly failing to make Q2 were Miguel Molina and two-time champion Timo Scheider, who were 20th and 21st for respectively the Phoenix and Abt Audi teams.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 49.139s
2. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 49.171s + 0.032s
3. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 49.255s + 0.116s
4. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 49.369s + 0.230s
5. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 49.023s Q3
6. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 49.049s Q3
7. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 49.100s Q3
8. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 49.156s Q3
9. Andy Priaulx RBM BMW 49.186s Q3
10. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 49.195s Q3
11. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 49.029s Q2
12. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 49.038s Q2
13. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 49.091s Q2
14. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 49.130s Q2
15. Joey Hand RMG BMW 49.135s Q2
16. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 49.297s Q2
17. Robert Wickens Mucke Mercedes 49.248s Q1
18. Roberto Merhi Persson Mercedes 49.348s Q1
19. Susie Wolff Persson Mercedes 49.378s Q1
20. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 49.466s Q1
21. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 49.525s Q1
22. Rahel Frey Abt Audi 49.539s Q1