Click here for full DTM FP1 results from the Nurburgring
Mattias Ekstrom has grabbed the initiative in the opening free practice session at the Nurburgring by starting fastest as DTM championship leader Pascal Wehrlein only manages 14th.
The Swedish driver, who trails Wehrlein by 14 points heading into the penultimate race weekend of the season, grabbed top spot on the timesheet late on to head the chasing BMW pack of Augusto Farfus, Marco Wittmann and Tom Blomqvist.
Wittmann had led proceedings with an early flyer as the rest of the field slowly got up to speed at the Nurburgring, with Ekstrom going quickest by just 0.038s with a lap 10 minutes from the chequered flag.
Farfus also made a late improvement to go second with Wittmann displaced into third, while Blomqvist – who grabbed a maiden DTM race win last time out at Oschersleben – ended the session fourth.
Former Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta headed the Mercedes contingent in fifth followed by Gary Paffett and Lucas Auer while Schnitzer BMW's Antonio Felix da Costa snuck into the 1m 23s times by one-thousandth of a second.
Maximilian Gotz and Maxime Martin rounded out the top ten, while it was a below-par start to the weekend for championship leader Wehrlein down in 14th, 0.6s off pace-setter Ekstrom.