Paul di Resta drew first blood in the battle for the 2008 DTM title after setting the pace during free practice at Hockenheim.
The Mercedes driver left it until the final lap of practice to post a time of 1min 32.783secs which saw him jump to the head of the times and ahead of a raft of Audi drivers.
Indeed, his final lap put him more than three-tenths of a second ahead of second placed Martin Tomczyk, who had looked set to lead an Audi lock-out of the top of the timing sheets.
Instead, Tomczyk had to settle for second, ahead of Mattias Ekstrom and current points leader Timo Scheider – who take a two point lead over di Resta into the weekend. Tom Kristensen and Bruno Spengler rounded out the top ten.
Whilst Scheider had been quicker than di Resta in the morning session, the Scot ended the day as the only driver to lap below the 1min 33sec mark and leave him on top ahead of qualifying on Saturday and the final race of the year on Sunday.