René Rast enjoyed a ‘very emotional’ third DTM title, clinching his seventh win of the season at the Hockenheimring in the DTM’s final race with Class One touring cars.
Rast defeated season-long rival Nico Müller to claim his third DTM title in the final race of the year, with the German ending up with a 23-point advantage over the Swiss after the season concluded.
Having secured his third title in four seasons, Rast admits that being part of the end of an era for the DTM, as well as his title success, made it an emotional afternoon.
“It was very emotional, not only because we clinched the drivers’ championship but also because it was my last lap and my last race with these beautiful cars,” said Rast.
“Lots of things came together, obviously. In the middle of the season we had almost lost the championship already, we didn’t really think about winning it, and now within five weeks winning the DTM championship again with those beautiful cars.
“So many moments came into my mind and it was very difficult to stay focussed for the whole race. But somehow, we managed it and I’m just so happy for everyone.”
Rast praised Abt Sportsline’s Müller and team-mate Robin Frijns for hard battles during the course of the season, adding that either of his rivals would also have been deserving champions.
“I think especially in yesterday’s race it showed how fair but also how hard we fight against each other.
“Obviously during the season, we couldn’t always do that, because we were also having those [thoughts about] big points in our head.
“We would have liked to fight more like yesterday, but then you think about the damage and about the points.
“The fight with Nico all year long was just an honour, because he is a great driver – he deserved the championship as well. He is a super-fast guy and super nice guy.
“I think also Robin would have deserved that win, the championship, but in the end, like Nico said, we just made a tiny bit less mistakes this year and had a very quick car in the last six races.
“Big credit to Nico and Team Abt, they would have deserved it as well.”