Bruno Spengler took his second DTM pole position of the year after coming out on top in a tense final part of qualifying at the Nurburgring.
The Schnitzer BMW driver was third fastest in Q3, behind Mike Rockenfeller and Filipe Albuquerque, but set a tough marker of 1m24.284s during the one-lap Q4 shoot-out to hit the front.
In order, Audi drivers Albuquerque and Rockenfeller failed to beat his time, the Rosberg and Phoenix men qualifying third and fourth respectively.
Spengler's closest challenger for pole ended up being Albuquerque's Rosberg teammate Edoardo Mortara, whose lap of 1m24.505s was just 0.221s slower than the Canadian's, despite him running wide at the exit of Turn 2 on his lap.
Martin Tomczyk, who was pushed out of the Q4 spots by Albuquerque with just seconds left on the clock, will start fifth in his RMG BMW, ahead of Augusto Farfus's RBM-run M3 and Jamie Green, who was the best of the Mercedes drivers in seventh for HWA.
Dirk Werner (Schnitzer), Robert Wickens and Timo Scheider (Abt Audi) completed the top 10, with Mucke Mercedes man Wickens taking the best qualifying position of his DTM career in ninth.
Championship leader Gary Paffett had a disastrous afternoon, failing to make it out of Q2 and qualifying down in 11th.
The HWA Mercedes driver had recorded his best time in sector one in the final minute of the session, but was forced to back off momentarily for waved yellow flags in sector two, the result of Farfus getting on the dirt on the exit of the Kurzangbindung hairpin and spinning backwards onto the grass on the opposite side of the track.
Like Paffett, last year's Nurburgring winner Mattias Ekstrom failed to make it out of Q2. He will start 12th in his Abt Audi. Rahel Frey almost made it into Q2 for the first time in her DTM career, the Swiss driver falling just 0.018s shy of her Abt teammate Ekstrom.
RBM driver Andy Priaulx, who said: "the track must have changed because after a good practice, I just totally lost the feeling with the car," and grand prix winner David Coulthard (Mucke Mercedes) were among the others who failed to make it out of Q1.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 1m24.284s
2. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m24.505s + 0.221s
3. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m24.555s + 0.271s
4. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m24.727s + 0.443s
5. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 1m24.241s Q3
6. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 1m24.288s Q3
7. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 1m24.312s Q3
8. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 1m24.422s Q3
9. Robert Wickens Mucke Mercedes 1m24.423s Q3
10. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m24.748s Q3
11. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m24.486s Q2
12. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m24.507s Q2
13. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 1m24.539s Q2
14. Joey Hand RMG BMW 1m24.664s Q2
15. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 1m24.705s Q2
16. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 1m24.747s Q2
17. Rahel Frey Abt Audi 1m24.890s Q1
18. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 1m24.944s Q1
19. Andy Priaulx RBM BMW 1m24.974s Q1
20. Roberto Merhi Persson Mercedes 1m25.114s Q1
21. Susie Wolff Persson Mercedes 1m25.275s Q1
22. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 1m25.297s Q1