Audi driver Mattias Ekström was fastest in the first free practice session at Norisring. The Swede lapped the street circuit in 49.893, 0.165 seconds ahead of Ralf Schumacher as top Mercedes driver in second.
Bruno Spengler made it three different manufacturers in the top three, just two thousands of a second ahead of championship leader Gary Paffett.
Dirk Werner was second best Schnitzer BMW driver in fifth position ahead of Timo Scheider and Miguel Molina. Jamie Green, who has claimed three victories at Norisring in the past four years, was eight fastest, 0.278 seconds behind.
Martin Tomczyk and Christian Vietoris rounded off the top ten, just over three tenths from the fastest time of the session.