Bruno Spengler gave the DTM establishment a shock by setting the pace in the final free practice session at Hockenheim on Saturday morning for BMW.
The manufacturer, which is returning to the championship this weekend after 20 years away, was off the pace during Friday's opening session, but had one or more of its M3 DTMs near or at the front throughout the 90 minutes.
Andy Priaulx and America's Joey Hand – making his DTM series debut this weekend – both spent time occupying the top spot within the second half of the session, but it was Spengler who wound up fastest; the Schnitzer driver's 1m33.512s lap the fastest of the weekend so far.
The man Spengler knocked off the top was Rosberg Audi driver Edoardo Mortara, who continued the strong from shown by his teammate Filipe Albuquerque on Friday. The Italian was just 0.007sec slower than Spengler.
Mattias Ekstrom – who had one scary moment when he outbraked himself and went straight on at the Spitzkehre – and Mike Rockenfeller were third and fourth, and less than a tenth off the pace for the Abt and Phoenix teams respectively, with Albuquerque next up to ensure Audi drivers took four of the top five positions.
Jamie Green was the best Mercedes driver in sixth for HWA, ahead of Timo Scheider (Abt), Miguel Molina (Phoenix), Christian Vietoris (HWA), and Hand, who was the top rookie in his RMG BMW.
Champion Martin Tomczyk had an off-track moment at the Spitzkehre in his RMG BMW on his way to 18th spot while Roberto Merhi, 16th in his Persson Mercedes, went off three times, each without drama or a spin.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 1m33.512s
2. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m33.519s + 0.007s
3. Mattias Ekström Abt Audi 1m33.546s + 0.034s
4. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m33.582s + 0.070s
5. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m33.771s + 0.259s
6. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 1m33.781s + 0.269s
7. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m33.811s + 0.299s
8. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 1m33.870s + 0.358s
9. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 1m33.927s + 0.415s
10. Joey Hand RMG BMW 1m33.928s + 0.416s
11. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 1m33.983s + 0.471s
12. Andy Priaulx RBM BMW 1m34.000s + 0.488s
13. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m34.122s + 0.610s
14. Augusto Farfus RMG BMW 1m34.201s + 0.689s
15. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 1m34.225s + 0.713s
16. Roberto Merhi Persson Mercedes 1m34.451s + 0.939s
17. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 1m34.465s + 0.953s
18. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 1m34.495s + 0.983s
19. Robert Wickens Mucke Mercedes 1m34.810s + 1.298s
20. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 1m34.919s + 1.407s
21. Susie Wolff Persson Mercedes 1m35.036s + 1.524s
22. Rahel Frey Abt Audi 1m35.381s + 1.869s