Martin Tomczyk took his first DTM pole position for nearly two years after edging out Mike Rockenfeller in qualifying at Brands Hatch.
The 2011 champion, who had not started from the front of the grid since joining BMW last year, topped Q3 in his RMG M3 and then carried that form into the single-lap Q4 session afterward. His 41.158s lap in Q4 beat that of Phoenix Audi driver Rockenfeller by 0.035 second and gave Tomczyk his first pole since the Spielberg race in 2011.
Behind Rockenfeller, championship leader Augusto Farfus will start third, with his RBM teammate Joey Hand a career-best fourth.
Champion Bruno Spengler just failed to make it into Q4 in fifth, the Schnitzer BMW driver qualifying ahead of Hockenheim polesitter Timo Scheider's Abt Audi and the MTEK BMW of Marco Wittmann, who took the best qualifying spot of his short DTM career.
Tomczyk's teammate Andy Priaulx was a season's best eighth – his third top-10 qualifying result in the past four races – while Edoardo Mortara and Q2 pacesetter Miguel Molina completed the top 10.
No Mercedes driver qualified inside the top 10. The best of them was last year's Brands Hatch winner Gary Paffett in 12th, one place ahead of another former champion, Audi's Mattias Ekstrom.
Paffett looked like he had been knocked out in Q1 when fellow Briton Jamie Green went sixth fastest on his final lap of the session. But Green's lap time was quickly struck off because the Abt Audi driver had started it a tenth of a second after the checkered flag came out. As a result he was left in 18th spot, behind Paffett's HWA teammate Christian Vietoris.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 41.158s
2. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 41.193s + 0.035s
3. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 41.197s + 0.039s
4. Joey Hand RBM BMW 41.460s + 0.302s
5. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 41.274s Q3
6. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 41.282s Q3
7. Marco Wittmann MTEK BMW 41.293s Q3
8. Andy Priaulx RMG BMW 41.358s Q3
9. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 41.394s Q3
10. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 41.472s Q3
11. Timo Glock MTEK BMW 41.353s Q2
12. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 41.363s Q2
13. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 41.401s Q2
14. Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 41.440s Q2
15. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 41.480s Q2
16. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 41.539s Q2
17. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 41.709s Q1
18. Jamie Green Abt Audi 41.727s Q1
19. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 41.745s Q1
20. Roberto Merhi HWA Mercedes 41.748s Q1
21. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Mercedes 41.783s Q1
22. Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes 41.787s Q1