Miguel Molina claimed his first DTM pole position by the narrowest of margins at Oschersleben as he beat Bruno Spengler by just a thousandth of a second.
The Spaniard, who has not even scored a point this season, had never previously qualified higher than fourth, but took his old-spec Abt Audi to the top spot in a time of 1m22.317s.
Spengler, the last man to set a time in Q4, was slower than Molina in sector one, but pulled back almost all the time in the remainder of the lap and only just missed out.
Behind them Oliver Jarvis and Mattias Ekstrom made it three Abt cars in the top four, the latter giving himself too much work to do after a poor opening sector in Q4.
Spengler sensationally went quickest in Q3, despite the Canadian suffering a misfire during that part of the session. The problem was rectified for Q4.
The 1m21.801s lap was 0.009s quicker than Molina, while the Spaniard's Abt team-mate Timo Scheider, HWA men Jamie Green and Ralf Schumacher and Rosberg Audi driver Edoardo Mortara all missed out on Q4.
The quartet filled the next four positions while the top 10 was completed by Maro Engel's Mucke Mercedes and the off-form Mike Rockenfeller (Abt), both ahead of practice pacesetter Filipe Albuquerque.
Championship leader Martin Tomczyk had a dreadful afternoon and failed to make it into Q2, the championship leader only 15th quickest in Q1 and missing out on a spot in the next part of the session by over 0.1s.
He will be promoted one place to 14th on the grid, however, when a five-place grid penalty is applied to Persson Mercedes driver Christian Vietoris - 13th quickest - for overtaking under yellow flags at Brands Hatch last time out.
There was even worse news for Gary Paffett, whose miserable season continued as he failed to complete a flying lap due to a misfire on the engine of his HWA Mercedes that was attributed to a problem with the ignition and electrics by Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug. He will start 17th.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Miguel Molina Abt Audi 1m22.371s
2. Bruno Spengler HWA Mercedes 1m22.372s + 0.001s
3. Oliver Jarvis Abt Audi 1m22.517s + 0.146s
4. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m22.687s + 0.316s
5. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m22.090s Q3
6. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 1m22.111s Q3
7. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 1m22.149s Q3
8. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m22.818s Q3
9. Maro Engel Mucke Mercedes 1m22.333s Q2
10. Mike Rockenfeller Abt Audi 1m22.339s Q2
11. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m22.348s Q2
12. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 1m22.426s Q2
13. Christian Vietoris Persson Mercedes 1m22.507s Q2
14. Renger van der Zande Persson Mercedes 1m22.518s Q2
15. Martin Tomczyk Phoenix Audi 1m22.978s Q1
16. Susie Stoddart Persson Mercedes 1m23.275s Q1
17. Rahel Frey Phoenix Audi 1m23.314s Q1
18. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes Q1