Mike Rockenfeller set the pace for Audi in the first DTM free practice session at Lausitz on Friday.
The German ended the session in the top spot having traded places with Timo Scheider on several occasions in the final half an hour, after Rockenfeller's 2008-spec Audi had been fastest for most of the session before that.
Reigning champion Scheider, who is hoping that he now has enough of an understanding of this year's new tyre compound to make up for a tough start to the season, eventually had to settle for second, while Maro Engel led a late-session charge from several of the '08 Mercedes to take third.
Engel set his time with just two minutes remaining in the session, and just behind him Susie Stoddart put in a similarly impressive lap to move her up to fifth.
While there were no heroics from the traditional leader of the 2008 Mercedes Jamie Green, DTM rookie David Coulthard also got in on the act and went sixth with his penultimate lap of the session.
With Alexandre Premat in between them all in fourth, it meant that five of the top six places were filled by older-spec cars.
The top 10 was completed by 2009 cars though, with the Audis of Mattias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk next up, followed by the top '09 Mercedes of Bruno Spengler, and Oliver Jarvis in another Abt Audi.
The places just outside of the top 10 were filled with race-winning Britons, as Gary Paffett, Green and Paul di Resta were next up for Mercedes.
The session was red-flagged around halfway through to enable track workers to fix one of the kerbs on the exit of Turn 1. Franky Cheng had suffered serious damage when he ran over one of the raised sections, and his mechanics were unable to repair his Mercedes in time to get him back out.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps 1. Mike Rockenfeller Audi 1m19.770s 32 2. Timo Scheider Audi 1m19.880s +0.110 27 3. Maro Engel Mercedes 1m19.957s +0.187 41 4. Alexandre Premat Audi 1m20.080s +0.310 41 5. Susie Stoddart Mercedes 1m20.298s +0.528 40 6. David Coulthard Mercedes 1m20.366s +0.596 41 7. Mattias Ekstrom Audi 1m20.367s +0.597 41 8. Martin Tomczyk Audi 1m20.372s +0.602 42 9. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 1m20.386s +0.616 40 10. Oliver Jarvis Audi 1m20.446s +0.676 52 11. Gary Paffett Mercedes 1m20.487s +0.717 30 12. Jamie Green Mercedes 1m20.497s +0.727 39 13. Paul di Resta Mercedes 1m20.770s +1.000 35 14. Markus Winkelhock Audi 1m21.005s +1.235 35 15. Ralf Schumacher Mercedes 1m21.017s +1.247 28 16. Miguel Molina Audi 1m21.027s +1.257 36 17. Katherine Legge Audi 1m21.042s +1.272 43 18. Franky Cheng Mercedes 1m25.255s +5.485 8