Christian Vietoris claimed his second career DTM pole position at the Norisring, in a frenetic, drying qualifying dominated by Mercedes.
Rain eased and then stopped between practice and the 20-minute session to set the grid for Saturday afternoon's race, and while the field started on wet tyres, times tumbled throughout the opening half.
Vietoris was one of the first to switch to slicks, with eight minutes remaining, and while Turn 1 remained damp a shootout ensued.
Pascal Wehrlein eventually started the final minute on pole, but was shaded by Robert Wickens and Paul di Resta as the chequered flag flew.
Gary Paffett then went fastest and Jamie Green second, moments before Vietoris recorded his 50.640s lap to secure his first pole since the race at the Lausitzring in 2013.
Just 0.039 seconds shy of his stablemate, Paffett will line up second, and with di Resta third, Wehrlein fourth and Wickens seventh, five Mercedes drivers will start inside the top seven.
Championship leader Green's second half of the session encapsulated the action.
In last place when he switched to slicks, he jumped up to second, fell to 19th, then rose again to 11th, fourth and second over the following laps, before his final effort took him from sixth to third.
Augusto Farfus was the best of the BMW drivers in sixth, two spots ahead of reigning champion Marco Wittmann, but it was a tough session for Audi.
Green and ninth-placed Miguel Molina are its only representatives inside the top 10, while Nico Muller brushed the wall exiting the chicane on his way to 19th and Mattias Ekstrom, Mike Rockenfeller, Adrian Tambay and Timo Scheider fill the last two rows on the grid.
|4||Paul Di Resta||HWA||Mercedes||50.751s||0.111s|
|18||Antonio Felix da Costa||Schnitzer||BMW||51.326s||0.686s|