René Rast disappointed not to defend title but ‘very proud’ of ‘incredible...

René Rast disappointed not to defend title but ‘very proud’ of ‘incredible comeback’

Photo: ITR e.V.

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s Réne Rast said it was “a shame” not to defend his Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters title, but was “very proud” with his comeback into the title battle late in the season.

The outgoing champion added two more victories to his 2018 tally at the season-closing Hockenheim finale, scoring an unprecedented six consecutive wins to close out the season.

Before that winning streak, Rast was 96 points adrift of the championship win, and would go on to be just four points down on 2018 champion Gary Paffett’s title tally.

With previous standings leader Di Resta dropping out of contention in the final race, Rast eclipsed him to finish second in the championship behind Paffett.

“What an incredible year, what a comeback!” said Rast.

“I’m very proud of Audi Sport, Team Rosberg and of myself, too.

We had a tough start to the season, but never gave up, kept improving the car and also made progress in terms of strategy.”

Rast, who won his maiden title this time last year at the 2017 Hockenheim title decider, also credited the fellow Audi Sport racers from various teams for helping to keep his title hopes alive, most notably at the Red Bull Ring.

“All of the Audi drivers worked together fantastically as a team,” he said.

“Only by doing so, was it possible to keep the title dream open up until the end.

“Ultimately, it wasn’t quite enough. That’s a little bit of a shame, but Gary [Paffett] and Mercedes-Benz deserved to win. They were strong throughout the whole year.”