Audi's Adrien Tambay has claimed his first ever DTM pole in front of BMW's Marco Wittmann at the Hockenheim season opener.

Tambay posted a 1 minute 32.272 second lap around the Hockenheimring to superbly place his Abt-run Audi at the front of the grid for the first time in his career.

Wittmann ended the session just over a tenth behind the Frenchman as the top placed BMW on their new M4 machines debut.

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Bruno Spengler placed his Schnitzer-run BMW into race-winning contention by qualifying a solid third ahead of DTM debutant Antonio Felix da Costa in fourth.

da Costa, already making a strong first impression, actually briefly put his Red Bull backed BMW onto the pole spot before seeing his time deleted after being penalised for deliberating running wide at turn 1.

Mattias Ekstrom led a three car Abt-Audi train in fifth ahead of Miguel Molina and Edoardo Mortara in six and seventh.

2012 DTM champion Martin Tomczyk was the final man to make it through the revamped Q2-Q3 cut off to qualify eighth.

Last year's Hockenheim finale winner Timo Glock was the first casualty to narrowly miss out on a Q3 spot in ninth while Timo Scheider completed the top ten for Phoenix Audi.

Defending champion Mike Rockenfeller could fare no better than eleventh on his maiden outing as the title holder.

Mercedes carried their appalling 2013 into the new season as the Stuttgart manufacturer occupy the final five positions on the grid.

Britain's Gary Paffett was the top Mercedes after qualifying his HWA C-Coupe in a lowly 15th.