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Frijns admits challenge from Rast made for ‘nerve wracking’ end to race

Robin Frijns admits that the late-race pressure applied from René Rast made for a ‘nerve-wracking’ conclusion to the opening DTM race at the Nürburgring Sprint circuit.

Abt Sportsline’s Frijns won his second consecutive race at the Nürburgring, defeating pole-sitter Rast by just over half a second.

But the Dutchman had to contend with three safety car restarts and strong late-race pressure from title rival Rast in the closing laps.

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At the start, Rast dropped to second behind Frijns, as the German made a poor start, having missed out on Friday’s opportunity for practice starts.

Rast then lost out to BMW’s Marco Wittmann at the second safety car restart, before re-gaining the position at the third restart.

Although Frijns came under late-race pressure from Rast, he was just able to hang on for his third win of the season, edging to 13 points from points leader Nico Müller, who was fifth after a mid-race spin.

“It was very difficult in the car,” said Frijns. “I mean, every time you get in the rhythm there’s a safety car. Three times!

“Each time I had a good gap and [then] you waste your gap and you waste your tyres as well.”

Frijns admitted that he was concerned about losing the lead to Rast in the final three to four laps of the race.

“In the last one, when René took P2 again, it was very difficult because we had similar pace and he was on push-to-pass and DRS all the time.

“I knew if I would make a mistake, I would lose my position, so it was very nerve-wracking in the car and I’m happy to make it to the end.”

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