Gary Paffett took his first DTM victory for over a year with a commanding drive at Lausitz while Mike Rockenfeller took the championship lead by finishing second.
From second on the grid Paffett jumped into the lead at the first corner ahead of his HWA Mercedes teammate Christian Vietoris and pulled out an advantage of nearly three seconds before his first pit stop. When he exited, having switched from soft option Hankook rubber to the harder standard tires, it was Rockenfeller on his tail, rather than Vietoris.
Rockenfeller, who had completed the first lap in sixth spot, had started on the standard tires and changed to the options as the pit window opened on lap three. The pace the Phoenix Audi driver and his early race rival Robert Wickens were able to exert from their rubber allowed the pair to take second and third places by the time everybody had made a stop.
While Wickens, who stayed ahead of Rockenfeller until being demoted at Turn 1 on lap 25, completed a short middle stint and dropped back from the victory fight after switching to another set of standards, the Audi man remained quick.
Rockenfeller's 39-lap stint on the options was in excess of any of the other victory contenders, but on standard rubber he was unable to stay with Paffett and dropped seven seconds to the Briton over the final 10 laps.
Wickens lost third to Vietoris during the final handful of laps while Jamie Green, who started third, took his best result since moving to Audi with fifth spot for the Abt team.
Daniel Juncadella was one of the stars of the race; the rookie starting 13th in his RSC Mucke Mercedes and finishing sixth, the best of his many passing moves coming late on as he passed Bruno Spengler's Schnitzer BMW at Turn 1.
Spengler, who finished just 0.1s ahead of Mattias Ekstrom's Abt Audi in seventh, is now level on points with Rockenfeller at the top of the championship, but drops behind his rival on countback.
Ekstrom made both of his mandatory stops within the first 10 laps, then running a 43-lap stint on a set of options. He passed Adrien Tambay, Pascal Wehrlein and Edoardo Mortara inside the final 10 laps.
Martin Tomczyk's dismal season continued as he spun early on after colliding with his RMG BMW teammate Andy Priaulx. He finished 19th with Priaulx 22nd.