René Rast breaks DTM record with fifth consecutive win

René Rast is a man on a mission in the DTM thanks to his incredible comeback in the final stages of the season, putting himself into a serious shot for the title ahead of the last race of the year with a record-breaking fifth straight victory.

Rast started from third on the grid in the first race of the 2018 DTM season finale weekend, recovering positions and having a memorable door-to-door battle with Mercedes-AMG’s Gary Paffett.

“The fight with Gary was very interesting. It was fair and very hard. Obviously he was fighting and he was in the leading positions of the championship, so he couldn’t risk much,” said Rast.

The safety car made an appearance as Augusto Farfus’ driver’s side door fell of his BMW M4 DTM, with the race restarted with time left for just seven laps.

“I was happy the safety car came out, I knew I had an opportunity to pull away if it did. There was a lot of oil on the track and I went straight at Turn 6 and lost a lot of ground to Gary, but I think the safety car helped us as both Robin (Frijns) and Timo (Glock) were able to pass him.”

Rast established a new record in the DTM with his fifth back-to-back victory. Asked how much of his thinking was celebrating and how much was still focussed on his title chances, the reigning champion said: “I’m not really thinking about the championship at the moment, which is within reach if we have a good race tomorrow. But our focus is on scoring as many points as we can, do a good qualifying and do a good race if possible.”

Rast never thought he would head to the season finale with such a good shot at the title: “I had a bit of bad luck in the beginning, but there is never luck in racing, I assume. It sort of came back now, but nobody could expect us to win five times in a row. But I still don’t believe we can win the title, I think we have to maximise what we can and see what happens,” said Rast.

Audi Motorsport boss Dieter Gass: “I’m extremely happy. In fairness, we couldn’t expect to win, not after the qualifying session and certainly not after the first lap. When René was dropping behind Augusto Farfus, I thought it was very difficult. But luckily he was able to get through.”

“Our philosophy for tomorrow is that we are the underdog, we have nothing to lose, so we will try to do as much as we can,” added Gass.

“René has been at an incredible level since quite a long time, not just since Zandvoort. He had some support from his team-mates, let’s not forget that, but also from the opposition who have made some mistakes. I think that if somebody would have bet at the beginning of the season he would get five wins in a row, he would have won quite a lot of money.”