Following a lengthy summer break, Augusto Farfus picked up where he left off from Brands Hatch by topping the timesheets in opening free practice at the Oschersleben.
Performing on home ground for the BMW team, Farfus was quickest in slippery conditions around the tricky German circuit, which had been hit by rain overnight.
The only driver to breach the 1min 51secs marker, Farfus was three tenths faster than Chevrolet's Rob Huff, who in turn was marginally ahead of the fastest SEAT entry of Tiago Monteiro.
Farfus, who is currently third in the standings and six points off the lead, was also comfortably faster than his key rivals Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, the pair having to settle for the fifth and sixth best laps.
Jordi Gene, Jorg Muller and Rickard Rydell followed in eighth and ninth, while Nicola Larini rounded out the top ten in the second of the Chevrolet Cruze's.
Of the Independent runners, Stefano D'Aste was quickest in the Wiechers-Sport BMW, the Italian finishing 12th overall, with Tom Coronel 15th and Tom Boardman in 17th.
Meanwhile, LADA's first weekend with a trio of Prioras got off to a positive start, with Jaap Van Lagen a solid 16th fastest of the 27 runners, while Viktor Shapolavov and Kirill Ladygin were only marginally slower.