Augusto Farfus led home a BMW 1-2 ahead of team-mate Dirk Werner in an action packed DTM season opener at Hockenheim.
Farfus, who ran second for most of the opening stint behind pole-sitter Timo Scheider, took the opportunity to pit for fresh rubber - under safety car conditions triggered by Adrien Tambay's fiery exit from the race on lap 7 - after passing Scheider for the lead on lap 6.
The Brazilian then gradually saw the race come back to him as he began to pick off the other drivers who took varying tyre strategies.
The RBM run driver was then able to cruise home to a five-second win ahead of Werner, who produced one of the standout performances of the day after reaching the second step of the rostrum all the way from 20th on the grid, the German's best DTM result to date.
Christian Vietoris took the final step on the podium ahead of his HWA elder-statesman Gary Paffett, who had an eventful run to fourth position after holding off a three-car onslaught behind him led by defending champion Bruno Spengler in a solid if unspectacular fifth on his first race in the number 1 car.
Scheider eventually ended the day sixth after the Audi drivers race was compromised by the safety car in the opening laps, dropping down the field in the opening pit-stop melee.
Joey Hand came home in a credible seventh ahead of Audi's Mike Rockenefeller in eighth while Marco Wittmann and Roberto Mehri both scored points for the first time in their DTM careers in ninth and tenth.
DTM debutant Pascal Wehrlein can count himself unlucky not to have scored points on his first outing after the young German, who led most of the first half of the race, was able to go 25-laps on the option tyre.
F1 refugee Timo Glock retired from his first DTM race. The German had run as high as second but a loose nut following his opening pit-stop put the MTEK man out of the race.
by Simon Evans