René Rast feels he is “a step closer to the title” after...

René Rast feels he is “a step closer to the title” after Saturday race win

René Rast
Photo: Audi

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast executed the perfect first day at the Nürburgring, scoring his sixth DTM victory of the season to place one hand on the title.

The 2017 series champion lead away from pole and steered clear of any first lap drama to hold a 10 second lead over BMW Team RMG’s Bruno Spengler at the checkered flag.

Rast has all but sealed the 2019 DTM title after main rival Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller was penalised for a jump start, and eventually finished outside of the points.

“It’s definitely a step closer to the title,” explained the race winner, “47 points ahead of Nico, it has been for me the perfect race.

“A great start, good pace in the first stint, I was able to pull a gap and this was basically the key to todays win.”

Rast looked in complete control, but after making his mandatory pitstop Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller appeared a threat to the victory after halving Rast’s five second lead.

“After the stop we had no pressure from behind,” described Rast, “But obviously Mike was there, he was a bit quicker after the pitstop.

“Unfortunately he retired, and this could’ve been a great battle between us.”

With Müller’s misfortune, and Rast’s result, the Team Rosberg driver can clinch the title tomorrow, should Müller suffer another issue.

Despite this, the championship favourite maintains that he and his team must push hard to secure the crown, and is wary of becoming too attentive to the actions of others.

“As we saw today, and at Laustizring, anything can happen,” elaborated the 32-year-old, “Tomorrow is an important day so let’s try and maximise that as well.

“It’s better to have a big gap than a small gap, so that makes it a bit easier. We need to look at ourselves and maximise what we have.

“Don’t look too much to our opponents, it’s the danger of fighting for a championship is looking too much to the opposition.”