Photo: Audi Mediacenter

René Rast: “It’s great racing without pressure”

René Rast completed another perfect day at Hockenheim, claiming pole and the victory, and the 32-year-old has not settled down after securing the 2019 drivers’ championship at the Nürburgring three weeks ago.

“It’s a great feeling competing without pressure,” Rast told TouringCarTimes. “This is a unique feeling and getting the pole position and winning like this was special.”

Rast did however not enjoy plain sailing during the race, as BMW’s Marco Wittmann challenged the Audi driver for the lead, overtaking on lap 24, although Rast was able to recover the position a lap later.

“I’m not really surprised about Marco’s pace,” Rast added. “He was really quick yesterday and he’s been always good at Hockenheim.”

A controversial moment in the race was when the safety car was called out on the track to aid the recovery of Philipp Eng’s BMW, just as Rast was in the pits. The safety car period allowed the Audi driver to bring his tyres up to temperature and prevail ahead of Wittmann.

“I came out of the pit stop during the safety car period and could warm up my tyres easily,” explained Rast. “Then I knew that Marco had run out of DRS, so I just had to bring it home.”

Rast’s victory, together with Robin Frijns in fourth place, was enough for Team Rosberg to secure the victory in the teams’ championship on 422 points, 48 ahead of Team Abt Sportsline, the last DTM title to be decided this season.

“It’s a big present for the guys to win the teams’ championship, and I’m very happy for them,” concluded Rast.

Audi Motorsport boss Dieter Gass praised Rast, also celebrating the 50th victory for the RS 5 DTM in the series: “René of course was outstanding once again. He obviously controlled the race and only had to overtake Marco Wittmann once in order to bring home victory. The 50th success for the Audi RS 5 DTM is a tremendous milestone.”

Rast, with the championship already under his arm, has 307 points, 73 ahead of fellow Audi driver Nico Müller and 105 over Wittmann.