Martin Tomczyk took his first DTM pole position for nearly two years ahead of this weekend's race at the Nurburgring.
The German, who had set the pace in free practice as well, was nearly two tenths clear of Mercedes' Bruno Spengler in the crucial fourth segment of qualifying.
Spengler did well to make the front row after a difficult day for Mercedes. The Canadian had not shown the pace to match the quickest Audi drivers in the earlier segments, but he put together a strong lap at the end to edge ahead of Mattias Ekstrom and Timo Scheider.
Behind the first four, Oliver Jarvis was the top driver of a 2008-spec car in his Audi, just ahead of Paul di Resta in the second Mercedes.
Di Resta had been heading for eighth on the grid at the end of Q3, but crucially he managed to jump ahead of the Audis of Markus Winkelhock and Tom Kristensen in the dying seconds.
Mike Rockenfeller and Maro Engel completed the top 10, but the biggest story further down the field surrounded championship leader Gary Paffett, who will start the race from 16th on the grid.
The 2005 champion developed a misfire on his first flying lap in Q1 and his HWA crew were unable to fix the problem in time for him to get back out.
For a while it looked like he might sneak into Q2, which would have bought his mechanics some time, but late efforts from Mathias Lauda and Alexandre Premat dropped him out of the top 14, along with team-mate Ralf Schumacher.
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Martin Tomczyk Audi 1m23.489s
2. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 1m23.684s
3. Mattias Ekstrom Audi 1m23.758s
4. Timo Scheider Audi 1m24.183s
5. Oliver Jarvis Audi 1m23.848s
6. Paul di Resta Mercedes 1m23.850s
7. Markus Winkelhock Audi 1m23.938s
8. Tom Kristensen Audi 1m23.965s
9. Mike Rockenfeller Audi 1m24.324s
10. Maro Engel Mercedes 1m24.374s
11. Jamie Green Mercedes 1m24.574s
12. Alexandre Premat Audi 1m24.578s
13. Mathias Lauda Mercedes 1m24.637s
14. Katherine Legge Audi 1m24.755s
15. Ralf Schumacher Mercedes 1m24.548s
16. Gary Paffett Mercedes 1m24.650s
17. Susie Stoddart Mercedes 1m25.207s
18. Christian Bakkerud Audi 1m25.346s
19. Johannes Seidlitz Audi 1m25.460s
20. Tomas Kostka Audi 1m25.578s