Luca Stolz has taken pole position for the first DTM race of the weekend at the Sachsenring, as the sport returns to the circuit for the first time in 21 years.
The driver of the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT machine set a time of 1:17.633 in the closing stages of the qualifying session.
With big changes in elevation, fast corners with blind entries and tight sequences of turns, the drivers were met with quite the challenge in the Sachsenring sunshine.
With just 10 minutes left to run, the majority of the 27-car field had yet to set a lap time on the tight and twisty circuit, with Kelvin van der Linde being the early pacesetter in his #3 ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II.
However as the clock wound down, the rest of the field came out to attack the hills of the Sachsenring and challenge van der Linde’s time.
Ultimately it would be Stolz who’d come out on top with Ayhancan Güven slotting into second place in the #24 Team75 Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R with a time of 1:17.693, just 0.060s off of Stolz’s time.
Kelvin van der Linde held onto third in his ABT Sportsline Audi with a time of 1:17.710 and second in the championship Thomas Preining was fourth, setting a time of 1:17.759 in the #91 Manthey EMA Porsche.
Championship leader Mirko Bortolotti completed the top five in the #92 SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO 2 with a time of 1:17.766, just seven-thousandths of a second shy of Preining’s effort.
Sixth went to EMIL Frey Racing rookie Thierry Vermeulen, with the #69 Ferrari 296 GT3 driver setting a time of 1:17.804.
The second ABT Sportsline Audi, namely the #7 machine belonging to Ricardo Feller finished the qualifying session in seventh place, setting a time of 1:17.842, with SSR Performance’s Franck Perera in eighth, 0.329s off of pole.
A maiden winner last time out at the Lausitzring, Jack Aitken squeezed into the top-10 by qualifying ninth in his Emil Racing Ferrari, with the British driver’s time of 1:18.038 being 0.405s off of the ultimate pace.
Completing the top-10 was Laurin Heinrich for Team75 Motorsport with the driver of the #75 Porsche 911 setting a time of 1:18.079, 0.446s back from pole.
Not a single BMW made the top-10, with reigning champion Sheldon van der Linde just missing the cut in 11th behind the wheel of the #1 Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 with a time of 1:18.084.
Race 1 at the Sachsenring will commence at 13:30 local time (12:30 BST).