Rast uses alternate strategy to win race two at Hockenheim

Rast uses alternate strategy to win race two at Hockenheim

René Rast
Photo: Michael Kunkel / Audi

René Rast utilised two-stop strategy in race two of the opening DTM race weekend at Hockenheim to win from 16th on the grid. The Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver made several overtakes to fight his way to the front, as both Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline drivers Nico Müller and Robin Frijns completed the podium.

The decisive moment came on lap seven when the safety car was called out as Audi Sport Team Phoenix driver Loïc Duval was stranded in the gravel at the banked Sachskurve.

Rast pitted under the safety car, the alternate strategy shuffling him down the order to 15th.

But the 2017 champion, on fresh rubber, was able to avoid restart drama on lap nine involving teammate Jamie Green and BMW Team RBM rookie Sheldon van der Linde, eventually climbing to fourth only two laps later, passing six cars on the first lap after the restart alone.

On lap 12, Rast passed both BMW Team RMG Bruno Spengler driver for third, and then Müller for second around the outside of the Sachskurve on the same lap.

A lap later Rast would pass the pole sitter Philipp Eng into the iconic hairpin, the BMW Team RMR driver having comfortably lead the race until that point.

The Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver then set about building a sizeable lead, some 7.9 seconds before he had to make a second stop on lap 21. He would rejoin the race in third behind Frijns, and Paul Di Resta, who was leading the race in his R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM. However the leading pair were due to make their mandatory stops.

Frijns came in on lap 22, followed by Di Resta two laps later, with the Scot eventually adopting a similar strategy to Rast with another pit visit later in the race.

Rast extended his four second lead after the pit stops to lead by eleven seconds at the flag.

Müller held on for second despite the late charge of Frijns, who passed both Spengler and Eng in the final ten laps.

The Austrian rounded out the top four after taking a sensational pole position for the second race, ahead of Spengler in fifth.

BMW Team RMR teammate Timo Glock finished in sixth, ahead of Di Resta who made the most of fresh tyres in the latter half of the race to climb to seventh.

Saturday’s pole and race winner Marco Wittman finished eighth after the BMW Team RMG driver was pushed into a spin mid-race by rookie Pietro Fittipaldi, who received a drive-through penalty for the incident.

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s Jamie Green improved on his 13th place finish on Saturday to finish ninth ahead of BMW Team RBM’s Joel Eriksson who rounds out the top ten. Green had earlier also been given a drive-through when he tagged the back of BMW’s Sheldon van der Linde on the tenth lap.

Mike Rockenfeller was forced to stop after slowing considerably on lap six, the Audi Sport Team Phoenix driver unable to add to his third place finish in race one as he retired to the pits.

Daniel Juncadella was the only other retirement, the R-Motorsport driver stopping his Aston Martin Vantage three laps from the chequered flag.

The weekend’s results mean Wittmann leads the drivers’ standings with 36 points, ahead of Frijns on 31 and Rast on 25, after his race two victory made up for a points-less Saturday.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 37 58:53.819 1:31.455 16
2 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 37 11.922 1:31.138 4
3 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 37 12.184 1:31.175 3
4 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RBR BMW M4 DTM 37 17.952 1:31.018 1
5 7 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 37 22.769 1:31.464 5
6 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 37 37.615 1:31.061 6
7 3 Paul DI RESTA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 37 37.920 1:32.387 15
8 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 37 44.294 1:31.098 2
9 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 37 47.031 1:31.433 7
10 47 Joel ERIKSSON BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 37 49.079 1:31.561 9
11 76 Jake DENNIS R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 37 49.114 1:31.509 18
12 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 37 58.396 1:31.935 12
13 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 37 1:04.833 1:32.280 17
14 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 37 1:16.566 1:31.770 10
15 21 Pietro FITTIPALDI Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 36 + 1 LAP 1:30.401 13
16 23 Daniel JUNCADELLA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 34 + 3 LAPS 1:32.871 14
R 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 7 DNF 1:32.359 11
R 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 6 DNF 1:31.665 8