DTM championship leader Bruno Spengler topped the first free practice session of the weekend for Mercedes, ahead of last year's winner Martin Tomczyk.
Audi is expected to have the upper hand this weekend, and it started well by getting four cars in the top five. However, Spengler trumped them all with his final lap of the session. Tomczyk was the only 2009-spec Audi in the top five, and he managed second place despite having his best lap taken away for taking a short cut.
Behind him were the 2008-spec A4s of Mike Rockenfeller, Markus Winkelhock and Alexandre Premat, while David Coulthard was the second best Mercedes as he completed the top six.
The top 10 was rounded out by two Audis and two Mercedes. Oliver Jarvis headed Maro Engel, reigning champion Timo Scheider, and Force India Formula 1 test driver Paul di Resta.
Former champions Mattias Ekstrom and Gary Paffett just missed out on the top 10, ahead of the two stars of the last event.
Norisring polesitter Ralf Schumacher was only 13th, while the race winner from one month ago, Jamie Green, was next up in 14th in his 2008-spec Mercedes.