Mercedes' Lucas Auer has set the qualifying pace at the Nurburgring for the second year in a row but will start the opening race DTM race from sixth following his grid penalty from Moscow.

The Mucke Motorsport driver stormed to the top by a relatively clear margin of 0.128s during a frenetic final sequence of runs.

But a third reprimand picked up at the Moscow Raceway meant Auer was always destined to start five positions lower than he qualified.

Instead, championship leader Marco Wittmann will start from the top-spot having produced the second quickest effort aboard his RMG run BMW M4.

The 2014 champion received a further boost to his title prospects with his nearest rival, Robert Wickens, only managing 13th ahead of the opening race.

Team RBM's Tom Blomqvist was also another to profit from Auer's grid penalty to line up second, making it an all BMW front row.

Jamie Green, Edoardo Mortara and Daniel Juncadella all jump up a position to complete the remainder of the top-five in third, fourth and fifth ahead of the penalty stricken Auer in sixth.

Team Rosberg's Green had led the first half of the session but the Brit was ultimately unable to improve upon his 1 minute 23.161 second effort.

Reigning European F3 champion Felix Rosenqvist once again defied his inexperience in the DTM to qualify seventh ahead of BMW's Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler.

Looking to keep his title hopes alive, Paul di Resta remains on the fringes of contention in tenth for HWA Mercedes.