Audi surprised any of its DTM drivers are in the 2018 title race

Audi motorsport boss Dieter Gass says the manufacturer did not expect any of its drivers to be in contention for the DTM title after a poor start to the season

Audi surprised any of its DTM drivers are in the 2018 title race

Reigning champion Rene Rast will start this weekend's season finale at Hockenheim with an outside chance of beating Mercedes pair Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett to the championship, thanks to a run of four-straight wins from the previous two meetings.

Rast's late-season charge is in stark contrast to Audi's form at the start of 2018, when it managed just two podiums from the opening four rounds after a winter rules revamp that simplified cars' aero package wiped out its advantage.

"After our difficult start to the season we didn't expect to be fighting for the championship at the end," said Gass.

"It's thanks to Rene and especially to our team that we're still in the running. They never gave up.

"We have continued to improve the Audi RS5 DTM within the limited parameters of the regulations.

"Our motto for the finale can only be: all in! If Rene's winning streak continues, anything is possible.

"Many forget that he was on the first grid row at the opening round in Hockenheim. And at that time we were not optimally positioned after the rule changes."


Rast is 30 points behind leader di Resta, having been 93 in arrears and seventh overall before his run of victories.

With 56 points left on offer from the two Hockenheim races (25 for each win plus three for each pole position) Rast conceded his hopes of overhauling the two Mercedes drivers ahead of him were slim but said he had "nothing to lose" entering the weekend.

"OK, I'm an outsider and it's extremely unlikely that we'll take the title," said Rast. "But really, anything can happen in the DTM, especially at the final round.

"We've already achieved our aim for the season and we've got nothing to lose. The pressure is definitely on Paul and Gary."

shares
comments
Sportscar squad WRT evaluating customer Audi DTM entry for 2019
Previous article

Sportscar squad WRT evaluating customer Audi DTM entry for 2019

Next article

Zandvoort set to lose its place on 2019 DTM calendar to Assen

Zandvoort set to lose its place on 2019 DTM calendar to Assen
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020