Hockenheim DTM: Rast on pole, Button sixth quickest
Audi's Rene Rast took his eighth pole of the DTM season at Hockenheim as one-time Formula 1 champion Jenson Button took a surprise sixth as the best-placed SUPER GT driver.
Starting in wet conditions, the final few minutes played out on a drying track as the field made late switches to the slick Hankook tyre, leading to a flurry of late improvements.
Rast had battled BMW's Timo Glock, who would eventually finish seventh, to trade places at the top of the times and the 2019 DTM champion held off a late rapid lap from Marco Wittmann to take pole.
Rast was one of several drivers to skate off track at the final corner, experiencing the same slippery runoff that proved controversial during this year's German Grand Prix.
Wittmann fell just 0.127s short of Rast's pole position time and Mike Rockenfeller was a fellow late improver to take third.
WRT Audi's Jonathan Aberdein continued his impressive qualifying pace to take fourth ahead of Loic Duval, who went off into the gravel following the end of the session.
Button was continually the leading SUPER GT driver and he had lifted his Kunimitsu Honda to the fringes of the top 10 midway through the session.
Following a pitstop to switch to slicks, a cautious first lap left him down in 16th.
Button then surged to third with a time of 1m46.206s, just over 0.6s down on the pole time, before he was shuffled down to sixth.
Button's previous closest time to the leader of the DTM field had been 2.1s in second practice and ahead of Saturday's running the DTM and SUPER GT decided against enforcing a Balance of Performance.
Audi's Robin Frijns was eighth, despite fighting for the leading spots early in the session, with BMW's Sheldon van der Linde and his teammate Joel Eriksson rounding out the top 10.
Rast's 2019 title rival Nico Muller was 11th ahead of the leading R-Motorsport Aston Martin of Ferdinand Habsburg.
As has been the case in 2019, wet conditions played into the hands of the underpowered Aston Martin Vantage DTM to fight for the leading positions in the worst of the weather.
Habsburg's teammates Daniel Juncadella and Jake Dennis took turns in provisional pole position before settling for 12th and 13th respectively, with Paul di Resta in 15th.
The final two SUPER GT runners filled out the final positions on the grid.
Ryo Hirakawa placed his TOM'S Lexus in 20th, with Tsugio Matsuda's NISMO-entered Nissan 21st.
Following qualifying, R-Motorsport made a request to the DTM technical delegate to "open the sealing of three additional engines".
While it is unclear if this means R-Motorsport will replace engines in its four-car team, it means the four cars cannot keep score points for the manufacturers' championship in today's race.
R-Motorsport has made the request on several occasions during 2019 and BMW did so at Brands Hatch
|1|| René Rast ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||1'45.552|
|2|| Marco Wittmann ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||1'45.679||0.127|
|3|| Mike Rockenfeller ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||1'45.783||0.231|
|4|| Jonathan Aberdein ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||1'45.928||0.376|
|5|| Loic Duval ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||1'45.939||0.387|
|6|| Jenson Button ||Honda NSX-GT||1'46.206||0.654|
|7|| Timo Glock ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||1'46.315||0.763|
|8|| Robin Frijns ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||1'46.351||0.799|
|9|| Sheldon Van Der Linde ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||1'46.383||0.831|
|10|| Joel Eriksson ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||1'46.628||1.076|
|11|| Nico Müller ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||1'46.789||1.237|
|12|| Ferdinand Habsburg ||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||1'46.791||1.239|
|13|| Daniel Juncadella ||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||1'46.986||1.434|
|14|| Jake Dennis ||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||1'46.988||1.436|
|15|| Bruno Spengler ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||1'47.026||1.474|
|16|| Paul di Resta ||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||1'47.090||1.538|
|17|| Philipp Eng ||BMW M4 Turbo DTM||1'47.548||1.996|
|18|| Jamie Green ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||1'47.590||2.038|
|19|| Pietro Fittipaldi ||Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM||1'47.792||2.240|
|20|| Nick Cassidy ||Lexus LC500||1'49.181||3.629|
|21|| Tsugio Matsuda ||Nissan/ R35||1'49.349||3.797|
|View full results|
DTM/Super GT decide against BoP in Saturday race
Hockenheim DTM: Rast beats Wittmann to win, Button ninth