Jamie Green will start on DTM pole for the first time for new employers Audi as BMW's Bruno Spengler is handed a five-place penalty thanks to another tyre irregularity at Oschersleben.
Spengler had set the pace during a rain-affected qualifying session with a 1 minute 20.140 second lap to clinch his first pole since Austria earlier this year.
But it later emerged that the Canadian fell victim of a tyre mix-up meaning a slick, allocated for the Q4 shootout, was used during the Q3 segment – dropping the defending champion to sixth.
Green, without the Spengler penalty, should have found himself on pole, but an error mid-sector on his one-lap banzai meant his time fell just over a tenth shy of Spengler's before being promoted to pole.
Augusto Farfus continues his impeccable qualifying form this season and shares the front row with Green.
Championship leader Mike Rockenfeller sits in third while his nearest championship Christian Vietoris languishes in 20th.
Dirk Werner and Filipe Albuquerque also move up a place to fourth and fifth.
Gary Paffett, starting his 100th DTM race, had qualified seventh but carried a five-place penalty into session after yet another tyre irregularity which occurred during free-practice – the Brit starting twelfth as a result.
That means Audi's Miguel Molina moves up a place to seventh ahead of Martin Tomczyk, Timo Scheider and Adrien Tambay all rounding out the top ten.
Q2 created most of the excitement during the session as rain which threatened arrived intermittently meaning those who posted a lap early achieved the best times.
Drivers from Tambay down including; Mattias Ekstrom and Robert Wickens all fell afoul of the conditions as grip levels significantly dropped.
Full Saturday morning practice times
Full qualifying times and starting grid
by Simon Evans