It has been a tough title defence for last year’s DTM champion René Rast, as the Audi Sport driver has only 23 points to his credit after just nine races.
The German was leading the race before Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller hit the barriers at Gerlach on lap 18 in yesterday’s race, after the left front tyre on the Swiss driver’s car failed.
“When Nico had his accident, I was far away from the safety car line, I was in the chicane in turn twelve. When the boards came out for the safety car, I knew exactly that I could have stopped there and then, for that matter,” explained Rast, who admitted that his race was compromised, as he finished 17th.
During the course of the 2018 season, there have been several differing strategies from all the teams, but Rast’s choice of staying out right until the end of the race became unscuppered, due to the Safety Car period.
The 31-year-old explained that the team were acute to the possibility that something may happen, but the risky strategy did not go to plan.
“I would definitely have finished in the top five, but ‘would have’ doesn’t count. At the moment, the spanner is in the works. At a certain point, that will stop.
“We had many good races this year in which we should have scored points, but at the moment, it just isn’t to be. The pace is still making me optimistic, much better than just cruising around.”
With his title defence having further troubles after the roll over that saw him withdraw from the race weekend at Lausitzring, Rast will start from third on the grid, his best qualifying result of the season since race three.