Jamie Green took top spot in second practice for the DTM at Norisring, 0.009 seconds ahead of Martin Tomczyk.
HWA Mercedes driver Green is chasing his fourth win at the Norisring, having won in three consecutive years between 2008 and 2010 driving the very same 2008-specification Mercedes.
Behind BMW driver Tomczyk was championship leader Gary Paffett, ahead of Bruno Spengler.
Friday's pacesetters Mattias Ekstrom and Ralf Schumacher were fifth and sixth respectively, with BMW men Augusto Farfus and Dirk Werner completing a top eight separated by less than a tenth of a second.
Spielberg winner Edoardo Mortara was ninth with his Rosberg Audi teammate Filipe Albuquerque in tenth.
Mike Rockenfeller was 11th with Christian Vietoris 12th and David Coulthard in 13th. Spaniards Miguel Molina and Roberto Merhi were 14th and 16th, sandwiching Timo Scheider.
17th was Susie Wolff, ahead of Joey Hand, Rahel Frey and Adrien Tambay. Andy Priaulx suffered front-right suspension failure as he braked for the first chicane, halting the session. The BMW driver was 21st, with Robert Wickens 22nd and last.