Early pace-setter Martin Tomczyk had warned against writing Mercedes' chances off in the opening round of the 2008 DTM campaign at Hockenheim this weekend, and Paul di Resta proved him right by leaping to the head of the timesheets in practice session two.

Audi had locked out the leading seven positions in the first head-to-head, and whilst six of them remained there later on, it was di Resta who popped up to spoil their party by storming to the top of the timing screens ahead of Abt Sportsline trio Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekstr?m and Martin Tomczyk. Markus Winkelhock - who completed the most laps of anyone during the session - Oliver Jarvis and Alex Pr?mat completed the top seven, the latter three all in year-old cars as the drivers battled against the increasingly adverse weather conditions.

Bruno Spengler was the three-pointed star's second-highest placed representative all the way down in eighth position, ahead of Audi's Tom Kristensen and five-time DTM king Bernd Schneider.

There was further woe for Mercedes as Ralf Schumacher wound up a lowly 17th-quickest - almost five seconds shy of the pace - the legacy of early technical issues, and Susie Stoddart failed to take part at all after a fire had damaged her P2007-spec Persson Motorsport machine in the morning.

Di Resta had also been the fastest Mercedes in the Audi-dominated morning session, albeit down in eighth spot ahead of series returnee Christijan Albers and rookie Maro Engel.