Filipe Albuquerque continued Audi's fine recent form in the DTM by topping practice at the Nurburgring on Saturday.
The Team Rosberg driver spent 20 minutes at the head of the pack during the middle of the hour-and-a-half-long session thanks to a 1m23.656s lap.
But after being knocked back to the tail end of the top five, he produced a 1m23.491s marker with two minutes remaining to retake the top spot.
His lap - half a second inside last year's best qualifying time - put him just three thousandths of a second ahead of Audi stablemate and championship leader Mike Rockenfeller.
Phoenix driver Rockenfeller had been the man deposed by Albuquerque, but then set his own personal best time on his final flying lap.
Marco Wittmann was strong throughout the session and ended up as the best BMW driver in third for the MTEK team.
How the DTM's three-way title fight is shaping up
Abt Sportsline drivers Adrien Tambay and Timo Scheider were fourth and sixth, sandwiching the Phoenix car of Miguel Molina.
Scheider's time came in spite of an early electrical problem that caused his on-board fire extinguisher to go off. Several minutes were lost as the spillage was cleaned up and the bottle re-filled.
Edoardo Mortara and Mattias Ekstrom made it seven Audis in the top eight; the latter recovering from a spin while exiting the final corner just beyond the hour mark.
Champion Bruno Spengler, who won at the Nurburgring last year, lay 16th with a few minutes left, but improved on successive laps to end up ninth.
Christian Vietoris was the best of the Mercedes drivers in 11th while his HWA team-mate Gary Paffett was 16th.
This weekend's DTM race at the Nurburgring will be streamed live on AUTOSPORT.com. To see the title fight continue between Mike Rockenfeller and Bruno Spengler, log on from 12:15 UK time on Sunday.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m23.491s
2. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m23.494s +0.003s
3. Marco Wittmann MTEK BMW 1m23.554s +0.063s
4. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 1m23.600s +0.109s
5. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 1m23.645s +0.154s
6. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m23.696s +0.205s
7. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m23.711s +0.220s
8. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m23.719s +0.228s
9. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 1m23.797s +0.306s
10. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 1m23.823s +0.332s
11. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 1m23.827s +0.336s
12. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 1m23.834s +0.343s
13. Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 1m23.848s +0.357s
14. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Mercedes 1m23.899s +0.408s
15. Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes 1m23.944s +0.453s
16. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m23.956s +0.465s
17. Jamie Green Abt Audi 1m23.979s +0.488s
18. Andy Priaulx RMG BMW 1m24.091s +0.600s
19. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 1m24.102s +0.611s
20. Timo Glock MTEK BMW 1m24.124s +0.633s
21. Joey Hand RBM BMW 1m24.314s +0.823s
22. Roberto Merhi HWA Mercedes 1m24.858s +1.367s