DTM Zandvoort: Race two safety car left Audi leader Rast 'screaming'

Reigning DTM champion Rene Rast says he was "screaming" after a mid-race safety car threatened Audi's chances of a first win of the 2018 season at Zandvoort

Rast jumped ahead of early race leader Gary Paffett with a clever strategic call by pitting on first lap, but a shunt involving Jamie Green and Bruno Spengler at Tarzanbocht and the subsequent safety car brought the Mercedes driver back into contention.

Paffett was on fresher tyres and got within 0.4 seconds at one stage, but Rast just managed to fend off the 2005 champion to end Audi's long wait for a victory.

"I was just screaming, 'It cannot be real'," said Rast. "I was just so upset.

"Actually, I went through Turn 1 [Tarzanbocht] and there was no car in the gravel. I was like, 'what's going on?'

"But obviously I had to manage the situation somehow, trying to focus on the race."

He added: "After the safety car restart, we had a good car, even though I was struggling a little bit with the tyre in the end.

"[I'm] very, very happy with my first victory of the year, just after so much bad luck in the last couple of weeks.

"Two times I rolled and [I had] lots of accidents, lots of incidents. So I had to be back on the podium."

Audi has struggled relative to DTM rivals Mercedes and BMW this season, and Rast is the marque's highest-placed driver in the points in ninth.

But the German said the pace shown by Audi at Zandvoort boded well for the rest of the year.

"We looked competitive this weekend," he said. "We were already stronger in Budapest which is a similar, high-downforce circuit.

"Brands Hatch is obviously quick circuit, lot of high speed corners. Hopefully we can be competitive there again.

"But I think the tracks that are following now will hopefully suit us more."

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