Mika Hakkinen denied Mike Rockenfeller a shock pole position in qualifying for the second round of the DTM at Oschersleben following an evenly balanced battle between Mercedes and Audi.
Only his second DTM pole position – his first coming at Spa in 2005 - Hakkinen defied an initially questionable weekend for the new C-Class by securing the top spot, while Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green's third and fifth appears to show Mercedes have sorted the performance worries they suffered at Hockenheim.
However, while it is Hakkinen who leads the way, it is Rockenfeller who grabbed the headlines with an astute performance in his year-old Audi A4 that very nearly saw him claim the top spot.
As it happens, Hakkinen's very final effort was enough to deny the former American Le Mans driver by a comfortable tenth of a second, although Rockenfeller can take heart in the fact that second marks Team Rosberg's best qualifying position in DTM.
Hockenheim pole sitter Bruno Spengler will start third, ahead of the eventual winner of that race Mattias Ekstrom, Green and Timo Scheider, the German having emerged as the favourite for pole position having topped both knockout sessions before the final outing, but failing to build upon it.
Martin Tomczyk and Gary Paffett sneaked into the top-eight shootout, denying Christian Abt and Bernd Schneider a shot at the leading positions, the reigning champion ruining his chances when he went off on his best lap.
The older cars that starred at Hockenheim found themselves in more familiar territory, although eleventh place Paul di Resta in his two-year old C-Class still managed to out pace the year-old Mercedes' of Mathias Lauda and Alex Margaritis.
Adam Carroll will start his second DTM race from an encouraging 14th having contributed to the demise of some surprise names during the first knockout session, including DTM returnees Marco Werner and Frank Biela.
Werner, who will start his first DTM race for 14 years, will do it from 17th in Alex Premat's Phoenix A4, while former champion Biela qualified 18th but will be forced to start last after being punished for not obeying yellow flags in practice.