René Rast seals his third DTM drivers’ title

René Rast (Photo by DTM)

René Rast (Photo by DTM)The third title, the 24th race win and therefore the most successful Audi works driver in DTM history: René Rast has pulled it off! In the final race of the DTM season at Hockenheim, the German Audi driver scored a commanding victory and is the new and the old DTM champion.

With his third title in only his fourth DTM season, Rast draws level with Klaus Ludwig in the all-time list of DTM champions. Only Bernd Schneider has more titles, five of them. His main rival Nico Müller (SUI, Audi), who still had title hopes after his victory on Saturday, had to make do with second place in the race and, with 330 points, was just beaten by Rast (353) in the final drivers’ standings. Rast’s teammate Jamie Green (GBR) showed another strong performance at Hockenheim on Sunday and rounded out the podium in third place. Next up were the other Audi works drivers Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Robin Frijns (NED), who ended up third in the drivers’ standings with 279 points, as well as Loïc Duval (FRA). Thus, all the six Audi works drivers locked out the first six places. Classified seventh, South African Jonathan Aberdein was the best-placed BMW driver like already on Saturday. Audi had already won the constructors’ title early, just like the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline had already secured the 2020 DTM teams’ title.

Rast’s seventh pole position

In the final qualifying session of the season, René Rast posted the fastest time like on six previous occasions this season already. The 34-year-old German’s qualifying record is impressive: seven pole positions, three second and five third places on the grid. From this season’s 18 qualifying sessions, Rast was among the fastest three 15 times and therefore was able to add 32 additional points to his championship tally just by his qualifying results alone. Nico Müller scored 23 points in this discipline, Robin Frijns 29.

For Rast, the start of the race wasn’t perfect: initially, he had to let Mike Rockenfeller, who had a rocket start from second on the grid, pull away. Jamie Green, third on the grid, didn’t have the best of getaways either and had to surrender a place to Nico Müller. On lap three already, Rast then made his way past Rockenfeller thanks to additional power from push-to-pass and took the lead until coming in for his mandatory pit stop. Müller also managed to overtake Rockenfeller and was now in the hunter’s role, but was unable to overtake Rast at the track.

Tactical games: Müller’s undercut attempt initially works out

René Rast (Photo by DTM)In the pits, however, he succeeded: like on Saturday, Müller’s Abt crew attempted an undercut to beat Rast with already warm tyres once the latter had also made his stop. The plan worked out: Rast, who made his pit stop three laps later, rejoined the race behind Müller. It took Rast five laps to close the gap to Müller again and eventually overtake him on lap 24. After that, Müller was no longer able to follow Rast as the latter drove a commanding victory home. Behind Rast and Müller, a thrilling battle for third place unfolded, in which Green first overtook Frijns and then also Rockenfeller.

DTM to start off its 2021 season with GT3 sports cars at the end of May

As a result, a DTM season that was extraordinary in many ways has come to an end. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the season had to be condensed: all 18 races were held within only 99 days on nine race weekends, a very demanding programme, and a huge workload for drivers and teams. In 2021, powerful GT3 sports cars will be racing in the DTM. The season opener of the schedule with nine race weekends has been planned at the end of May.

Written by