2007 DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom put in - what Audi boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich branded - an 'almost perfect lap' on Saturday to take pole position in qualifying at the Hockenheimring.
The Swede lapped the 4.574 kilometre circuit, venue for the eleventh and final round in this year's German tin-top series, in 1 minute 32.244 seconds, edging out Paul di Resta's AMG Mercedes C-Class by just 0.040 seconds. It was his second pole of the season - and his twelfth in the DTM.
"Every pole position is something special, but this one isn't extraordinary," said the Red Bull-backed star. "But maybe it helps that I don't have the pressure of battling for the title. Today, the car was very easy to drive.
"Now, I will try to pull clear tomorrow at the start as soon as I can. And when I happen to meet the two, it is clear that I will be racing Paul [di Resta] harder than Timo [Scheider]."
di Resta meanwhile was satisfied with second as it means he will start one-spot in front of title rival Timo Scheider, who goes into the finale with a slender two point advantage.
"There is always something to improve, but we have done our job," stated the Scot. "The goal was to start ahead of Timo Scheider. But it was also very close between Mattias and me.
"I will try everything to stay in front. In the race, many things can happen. I am looking forward to it. I am in good shape and I am ready."
Scheider was also pretty pleased, especially after he made a small error at the start of Q2 and ran over the kerbs too tight at the end of the main straight. That left his car slightly damaged and he had to pit to have it repaired
"After the mistake I made in the first segment, it was important not to crack under pressure," he reflected. "Of course, I was a little bit more cautious at that point after that. But I ended up close to Paul and Mattias is on pole – Paul can look forward to a hot race. I know how good my car is on a long distance, so I remain calm. At Le Mans, I moved up from fifth on the grid into first place, so I am in a better position here."