Bruno Spengler led a Mercedes one-two in DTM qualifying at Dijon, as the championship fight was blown wide open with leader Timo Scheider down in 16th.
Paul di Resta backed his team-mate up in the crucial fourth segment of qualifying to complete the lockout, while the Audis of Tom Kristensen and Mattias Ekstrom had to settle for row two.
The session took place with drizzle in the air, leading to constantly changing track conditions in each of the four segments.
That caught out several drivers through qualifying, but Scheider was the most-high profile to struggle as he battled a wet set-up on a dry track at the end of Q1.
With the Audi driver out of action early on it was a golden opportunity for Ekstrom and Gary Paffett to get up front and have a chance of prolonging the title fight beyond this weekend, but neither was able to grab top spot.
While Ekstrom (who is 12 points back) at least did enough to make the pole shoot-out, Paffett (14 adrift) missed the best of the track conditions in Q3 and could manage no better than eighth.
Mercedes appeared to be in a very strong position heading into Q3, with only two Audis getting into the top eight. However, Ekstrom and Kristensen made sure that two Audis also made it into the top four, minimising the damage.
Maro Engel and Ralf Schumacher were initially on course to make Q4 before Spengler and di Resta snuck in at the end, but the pair will line up together on the third row with each taking the best qualifying performance of their DTM careers.
Jamie Green had starred in the first two segments in his 2008-spec C-class, but after struggling like Paffett in Q3 he will line up just ahead of his countryman in seventh.
Pos Driver Car Time 1. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 1m19.914s 2. Paul di Resta Mercedes 1m20.446s 3. Tom Kristensen Audi 1m20.908s 4. Mattias Ekstrom Audi 1m21.149s 5. Maro Engel Mercedes 1m21.666s 6. Ralf Schumacher Mercedes 1m21.768s 7. Jamie Green Mercedes 1m22.152s 8. Gary Paffett Mercedes 1m22.312s 9. Martin Tomczyk Audi 1m10.224s 10. Oliver Jarvis Audi 1m10.240s 11. Mathias Lauda Mercedes 1m10.252s 12. Alexandre Premat Audi 1m10.371s 13. Susie Stoddart Mercedes 1m10.477s 14. Markus Winkelhock Audi 1m10.564s 15. Mike Rockenfeller Audi 1m10.998s 16. Timo Scheider Audi 1m11.195s 17. Katherine Legge Audi 1m11.702s 18. Tomas Kostka Audi 1m12.140s 19. Johannes Seidlitz Audi 1m12.767s 20. Christian Bakkerud Audi