Alexandre Premat set the pace on the first day of DTM testing at Valencia on Wednesday, while David Coulthard was second quickest as he evaluates a switch to the German series.
Coulthard will make his decision on whether to race in the DTM this year based on yesterday's running, as it was his only opportunity to share the track with several other cars after completing three private tests with Mercedes in recent weeks.
"The best time to make a decision is when you've got the maximum amount of information at your disposal to decide whether to jump into it," Coulthard told AUTOSPORT. "That will be after this final test."
The 13-time grand prix winner, driving a year-old spec Mucke Motorsport Mercedes, finished Wednesday's test just 0.059sec slower than Premat's best lap for the Phoenix Audi squad in Spain. Markus Winkelhock made it two Audis in the top three, while Bruno Spengler was the top latest-spec car in fourth for Mercedes.
Ralf Schumacher, who confirmed he will race in the DTM for a third season earlier this week, was only 0.015sec slower than his HWA teammate in fifth place, while Mattias Ekstrom and Timo Scheider were next up as the Abt Sportline team made a quiet start to the four-day test.
Franky Cheng, who has been linked to a drive in the series this year with Mercedes, was the slowest of the nine runners, 1.5sec adrift of Premat.
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Alexandre Premat Audi 1:28.666
2. David Coulthard Mercedes 1:28.725
3. Markus Winkelhock Audi 1:28.883
4. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 1:28.949
5. Ralf Schumacher Mercedes 1:28.964
6. Mattias Ekstrom Audi 1:29.127
7. Timo Scheider Audi 1:29.156
8. Susie Stoddart Mercedes 1:30.102
9. Congfu Cheng Mercedes 1:30.235