René Rast admits ‘pressure’ of challenging qualifying session despite taking pole

René Rast admits ‘pressure’ of challenging qualifying session despite taking pole

Photo: Audi

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast claimed his sixth DTM pole of the season after narrowly beating teammate Jamie Green to top spot by 0.045 seconds at the Lausitzring.

The 2017 series champion set his fastest time of 1 minute 35.241 seconds in the final minute of the first qualifying session, but it was not a straightforward session for the championship leader.

In the first half of the session Rast was languishing in eighth place, and it looked like the Audi driver was struggling to set a competitive lap time.

Rast revealed that this early pace was as a result of overusing the Hankook tyres, leaving him towards the bottom of the top ten.

“I pushed a bit too hard with the first set,” Rast explained, “I expected a bit more grip from the track and I pushed too hard and overdrove the car.

“I made too many mistakes and was P8.”

The current championship leader admitted he felt the pressure as rivals for the 2019 title, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller and BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann, were quicker than him in the opening half of qualifying.

“I had a bit of pressure, Marco and Nico were just ahead of me,” the Audi driver explained, “I knew I had to nail the lap.

“The one lap I did was quite clean, not perfect, but clean.”

Rast extended his championship lead over Müller by picking up another three points for pole. Notably, the German driver has scored an impressive 27 points in qualifying alone this year, compared to Müller’s 6 points, and Wittmann’s tally of 14, enough points to effectively give Rast an extra ‘race win’.