René Rast climbs 15 positions to win “craziest race ever”
Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver René Rast made the most of an incident-packed Sunday race at Hockenheim to recover from 16th on the grid to take his first win of the season, despite making two pit stops.
“I think this one of the craziest races ever, starting from 16th and winning the race,” Rast said to TouringCarTimes.
“We had quite an aggressive strategy and we stopped when the safety car came into action for new tyres, but it was only out for one lap, so I caught the train just in time. I had a good restart, then I gained a lot of positions, but I only made two overtakes, the rest were people either spinning or going wide in front of me and I was lucky to not hit any of them.
“We pushed a lot and had a great strategy today and I just had to drive the car to the finish. I’m very grateful for this victory after the day we had yesterday. We were lucky the safety car came out,” concluded Rast.
Manufacturer colleague Nico Müller drove a consistent race to finish second, fighting the attacks of team-mate at Team Abt Sportsline Robin Frijns in the closing stages.
“I tried to stay calm in the beginning to take care of the tyres,” the Swiss told TouringCarTimes. “After a few laps, when I saw I could keep Timo in distance, I thought I would be ok,” said Müller.
“I also have to be grateful to the team for a very good stop that allowed us to win a position over Eng.”
Audi heads the manufacturers’ championship after the season opener on 110 points, 17 points ahead of arch rivals BMW.
“I’m extremely happy today, you can’t expect a result like this in the first race of the season, which I consider like this as yesterday it was wet, because you don’t really know where you are at,” Audi Motorsport boss Dieter Gass told TouringCarTimes.
“Everybody is focussing on their programme, so you don’t know what the others are doing for the race and with their performance levels. I think this morning we saw that BMW was very strong but our race pace was very good and we managed to achieve a very good result for Audi. This is a fantastic result and a great day for Audi.”