BMW's Marco Wittmann has held off Audi's Mike Rockenfeller during a tense final few laps to record his fourth DTM victory of the year at the Nurburging.
Starting from pole position, Wittmann got the pefect getaway while Rockenfeller also enjoyed a blistering start, which immediately elevated the reigning champion into second position while fireworks behind the leading runners began to erupt.
Within the opening ten laps no less four Audi's were all relegated to an early bath, most notably Phoenix's Timo Scheider and Rosberg's Nico Muller. The pair had both started on the standard tyre in a bid to trouble the leaders late in the race.
But, after finding themselves as the leading standard runners, Mercedes' Robert Wickens ploughed in the rear of Scheider who then unwittingly collected his teammate Muller – both joining Miguel Molina and Mattias Ekstrom on the sidelines.
Back to the front of the field Wittmann, Rockenfeller and Edoardo Mortara managed to keep their noses clean with two Mercedes of Paul di Resta and Daniel Juncadella in close company.
Juncadella had led Di Resta but the Scot forced his HWA C-Coupe past the Mucke machine and in turn began to apply the pressure on Mortara.
No positions swapped hands before and after the leaders made their one and only pit-stop as Wittmann marched away to a comfortable four-second cushion.
Just as we thought that was that, however, the 2013 champion began to trim the RMG-M4's lead with seven-laps to go. Ultimately Wittmann's initial gap proved too much and was able to cross the line with a 1.2 second margin over the Phoenix RS5.
Mortara held off Di Resta for third position while Juncadella followed closely behind to record a season's best fifth ahead of fellow Mercedes teammate Christian Vietoris in sixth.
Maxime Martin was seventh for BMW while Martin Tomczyk was eighth for Team Schnitzer. After Scheider and Muller's clash, Tomczyk had taken the role as lead standard runner, but the 2011 champion found himself 55 seconds behind race winner Wittmann after the pit-stop phase.
Subsequently his M4's pace wasn't strong to mount a serious attack on the leading pack and could only dispose of Vitaly Petrov and later Jamie Green.
Robert Wickens and Pascal Werhlein made it five Mercedes' to finish within the points for the first time this season in ninth and tenth.
At the rear of the pack Gary Paffett and Timo Glock literally remained glued to each other for the entirety of the race after following a heated exchange of bodywork where the duo clashed not once, but twice on the opening lap.
Both receiving sizeable damage to their aero-packages they failed to make any impression on the race and finished almost a minute off the race leader.
Ekstrom's terrible weekend went from bad to worse as the former double-champion also found himself in the wars on the opening lap which led to a lap three retirement and a severe dent to his title ambitions.