Augusto Farfus secured his second DTM pole position in a row following a closely fought session at Hockenheim ahead of title contenders Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler, who took second and third.
Farfus, who topped the timesheets in Q3, was the last of the drivers to set a time in the one-lap shootout and beat Paffett's existing best by one-tenth of a second after the Brit locked up into the Sachs Kurve.
Spengler, who set a time just one-tenth shy of pole, starts right behind his championship rival in third, setting up one almighty battle in Sunday's race.
Mattias Ekstrom shares the second row with Spengler lining up fourth as the best placed Audi.
America's Joey Hand heads an all BMW third row following a fine performance to qualify a strong fifth in front of, Martin Tomczyk, who is enjoying his final weekend as reigning DTM champion.
Dirk Werner kept up his consistent form of late and will start from seventh position ahead of former double champion, Timo Scheider in P8.
Audi's Edoardo Mortara lines up ninth with Jamie Green, who still mathematically has a chance of taking the title, rounding out the top-ten.
In both their final DTM weekend of their careers, David Coulthard and Susie Wolff share the final row of the grid in 21st and 22nd position.
by Simon Evans