Audi's Rast: DTM win one of my craziest races ever at Hockenheim

Audi DTM driver Rene Rast has described his win in the opening round at Hockenheim as "one of my craziest races ever"

Audi's Rast: DTM win one of my craziest races ever at Hockenheim

Rast, the 2017 champion, started down in 16th position on the 18-car grid because of a fuel-system problem on his RS5 DTM in qualifying.

An inspired call brought the Team Rosberg driver into the pits on the eighth lap when the race went under safety car to retrieve the Audi of Loic Duval from the Sachskurve gravel trap.

Although Rast could not count this pitstop as his mandatory stop because it was under caution, it gave him a fresh set of tyres with which he raced through the field and established an impregnable lead.

Following his second, mandatory pitstop, Team Rosberg-run Rast led home Audi stable-mates Nico Muller and Robin Frijns in a 1-2-3 for the manufacturer.

"It was one of my craziest races ever I would say, starting from 16th and winning the race," said Rast.

"Obviously it was a very aggressive strategy, stopping under the safety car and getting new tyres."

With the race only remaining under caution for one lap, Rast and fellow pitter Paul di Resta only just caught the pack as they restarted, so it was a tight call.

"The safety car just stayed out for one lap and then I had to hurry a bit exiting the pitlane to catch the train," explained Rast.

"At the start-finish [line] I was lucky enough to be just there and made a good start and could pass some cars, and then on the new tyres it took me three or four laps until I got through the field.

"It was a great strategy from the team, everyone did a great job today and I'm very grateful to take victory after the bad day yesterday."

After hounding eventual winner Marco Wittmann in the first race of the weekend in pouring rain, Rast had to bow out of second late on due to a gearbox issue.

Rast explained that the two-stop strategy in race two was always regarded as a potential tactic, and joked that Duval's off was not deliberate.

"We always had it in mind," he said.

"When you are P16, or somewhere outside the top 10, always you have to gamble and this time we knew if there was a safety car this was our chance to make up positions.

"We spoke about it beforehand and in the end we were just lucky it happened like we hoped.

"It was not the plan that Loic was in the gravel!"

Rast still had to overtake 14 cars to get back into the lead on his fresh tyres, and when asked by Autosport about that risk on a chaotic DTM double-file restart he said: "Two times I was just missed by a few centimetres by cars spinning in front of me.

"Marco [Wittmann] got turned around, and somebody else spun in front of me and I had to avoid them as well.

"So there was a bit of chaos, and I think on track I passed five cars - not more.

"The rest of the places I got from spinning cars in front of me, which is lucky, but sometimes it's like that."

shares
comments
Rene Rast charges from 16th to take Race 2 victory at Hockenheim

Previous article

Rene Rast charges from 16th to take Race 2 victory at Hockenheim

Next article

Ducati MotoGP star Dovizioso to race Audi DTM car at Misano

Ducati MotoGP star Dovizioso to race Audi DTM car at Misano
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Drivers René Rast
Author Marcus Simmons
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
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series Plus

The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was an ardent detractor of Formula E and was reluctant for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. But this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure the DTM's existence in the future of motorsport

DTM
Dec 13, 2019