Photo: DTM Media

René Rast impresses with strong showing on his DTM debut

René Rast says he was happy with his performance on his DTM debut at Zandvoort, after being drafted in just the night before to take over from the injured Adrien Tambay in the #27, now #72 Audi RS 5.

Rast, who competes for Audi in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup with Team WRT, finished 19th on his DTM debut for Audi Sport Rosberg, lapping at a similar pace to the field with just one 20-minute session before qualifying to get used to the car.

“Yesterday evening I got the phone call, we were celebrating my girlfriend’s birthday, and about 9:30 I got a call saying Adrien may not be able to drive,” said Rast to TouringCarTimes. “I came directly by car and slept maybe 1-2 hours, and was straight into the car in the morning.”

Rast opted for a late pit stop strategy along with Audi colleagues Mattias Ekström, Mike Rockenfeller and Miguel Molina, which saw him briefly up to fourth in the early stages until the strategy played out.

“It has always been my goal to do a DTM race, and now I’ve done it,” he added. “I didn’t have a scratch on the car. I didn’t do any big mistakes and my pace was still improving at the end of the race, which is quite promising. If we started the weekend again now, I think it’d be an even better story.”

Tambay’s injuries from his crash at the start of Race 1 were checked over and the Frenchman has no broken bones. He is expected to take back the seat at the next round of the DTM at Moscow Raceway in mid-August.