René Rast needed one more lap to take Brands Hatch race one...

René Rast needed one more lap to take Brands Hatch race one victory

Photo: Audi

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast believes that his pace late on in DTM’s Saturday race at Brands Hatch would have helped him to another win if the race was one or two laps longer.

After being pipped for pole by championship rival BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann by only 0.068 seconds, Rast was beaten to the line by only three tenths after closing in the final moments.

Rast, who has been vocal about the difficulties of getting the new Class One cars off the line, dropped down the order early on after struggling again with the start.

“It’s one of the trickiest starting positions,” explained the 2017 series champion, “It’s quite up and down, and angled. Once you have wheelspin its hard to recover from that.

“I tried to stay out of trouble and I lost two positions.”

Despite showing strong pace throughout the 43 laps of the ‘GP’ circuit at Brands Hatch, Rast admitted he was finding it difficult to make on-track moves and follow other cars.

“It’s difficult to pass here,” the Audi driver described, “I tried to save my tyres a bit more, but as we saw it’s really difficult with that dirty air to follow closely.”

After the stops, Rast was over five seconds adrift from Wittmann, and the gap remained relatively unchanged until the final two laps when the Audi driver upped the pace to close to within a second of the race lead. Rast revealed that he didn’t use any push-to-pass, and that he was over conservative with his tyres.

“I didn’t use push-to-pass at all. Tyre management was the key, in Assen it was the key.

“I have bad memories [of Assen] where I used a bit too much the tyres, today I was a bit too conservative.

“I had still more in the tyres but I was calculating more laps.”

Rast explained that the leading margin closed significantly in the final laps because he chose to push on his well preserved Hankook tyres.

“At one point I started to push and there was a lot of performance left in the tyre, and I closed up to Marco.

“I think one or two laps more and it would have been done.”