René Rast praised the work of his Audi mechanics between the first and second DTM race at Spa-Francorchamps, after he was able to manage his tyres much better on Sunday and claim a first win of the season.
From pole position, Rast was in the prime position to claim victory in Sunday’s race. But the two-time champion had to fend off the challenge from stable-mate Nico Müller, who had claimed victory in Saturday’s race after managing his tyres better.
Although Rast lost the lead to his Swiss rival after the third lap, the German had stronger tyres at the end of the race and he was able to use DRS to power past Müller on the Kemmel straight five laps from the end.
Victory, in combination with fifth in race one on Saturday, means Rast is seven points behind Müller, who won on Saturday and followed up with second on Sunday, in the drivers’ standings.
“It was a very demanding race,” said Rast. “I had a very good start; the car was much better than yesterday when I was fighting with the tyres.
“We improved a few things on the car, but I also worked on my driving. We got our reward for this today.
“It was a cool fight with Nico and Robin [Frijns] – fair and good. Just the way it should be. The racing with DRS and Push-to-Pass in the DTM is awesome.”
Rast admitted that he expected Müller to challenge him on the final lap, as the duo remained close for the last five laps of the race.
“Nico was very strong in his first stint and so was Robin. In the second stint, I was on the same pace as Nico and I could pass him.
“I knew that he would make an attempt on the final lap and I prepared accordingly.
“It wasn’t a perfect weekend, but the best thing is that we saw what wasn’t optimal yesterday. We changed it and it worked.”