• Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

Rast laments “troublesome” Portimao weekend after point-less DTM return

Three-time DTM champion Rast has made a long-awaited comeback to the sequence this yr, becoming a member of the factory-supported Abt Sportsline crew alongside GT3 specialists Kelvin van der Linde and Ricardo Feller.

However the German driver returned empty handed from his first weekend again within the sequence in Portugal, struggling a DNF within the opening race and ending an underwhelming twelfth within the second 33-lap contest on Sunday.

Qualifying thirteenth for the second race with a time that was solely three tenths shy of the entrance row, Rast made some progress within the first half and climbed to eleventh behind his teammate Feller within the sister Audi R8 LMS GT3.

However after finishing his obligatory pitstop on lap 8, Rast dropped behind the GruppeM Mercedes of Maro Engel and was unable to move a automotive that was a lot faster on the straights, and ultimately dropped behind the SSR Porsche of Dennis Olsen.

This was the primary time Rast failed to attain a degree in a DTM spherical since Norisring in 2018, when all Audis struggled for tempo and Rast misplaced greater than 15 seconds within the pits with a botched tyre change. 

“It was a troublesome weekend for me and sadly, I went residence with out factors,” he mentioned. “On Saturday, I had a fairly good qualifying session by my requirements: I used to be on the identical stage as the opposite Audi drivers.

“Sadly, I didn’t rating any factors within the race because of the unlucky accident on the restart.”

In an interview with Motorsport.com’s sister title Motorsport-Whole.com, he added: “Tough day [on Sunday], particularly the race.

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“When you’re within the practice, there’s nothing you are able to do. You’ll be able to’t overtake, it’s very troublesome to get near the competitors as a result of on the straights they drive away from you and within the corners you’re in line. However we’re at all times a lot too far-off to make a manoeuvre. 

“That’s why you possibly can solely pull off a manoeuvre with all of your would possibly. That doesn’t make a lot sense on the again in P10 or P11.

“Maro Engel and Dennis Olsen had been the 2 guys I used to be combating with the entire race. However popping out of the final nook, the Mercedes makes up 50 metres on you. You then begin once more, and on the straight he pulls away once more, and so it goes backwards and forwards. A bit irritating.

“Due to the BoP, every automotive has totally different strengths in numerous areas. Not each automotive might be equally good all over the place. We’re good within the corners, however on the straights we’re missing a bit right here and there. That makes it troublesome for us, after all.”

René Rast, Staff ABT Sportsline

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

Rast was the highest qualifier inside the Abt squad on Saturday in eleventh, nicely away from Feller and van der Linde, and trailed the main Audi of Staff Rosberg driver Nico Muller by simply 0.074s.

Nonetheless, the tables turned on Sunday when he certified almost half a second off polesitter Muller, and was even outpaced by the second Staff Rosberg automotive of Dev Gore.

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Muller later went on to dominate the race from pole place, securing his first DTM victory because the 2020 title decider at Hockenheim.

The outcomes on Sunday seemed that Staff Rosberg has made a serious breakthrough after enduring a tricky 2021 season, whereas Abt has dropped down the pecking order after difficult for the title final yr.

Rast mentioned he was blissful to see his former title rival Muller return to successful methods within the DTM, however had no clarification for the contrasting fortunes of the 2 Audi squads at Portimao.

“You’ll be able to solely say congratulations to Nico,” mentioned Rast. “He had a sensational day. The crew has additionally improved quite a bit from final yr to this yr.

“Final yr it was the opposite manner round, and now Rosberg has actually labored quite a bit over the winter. The automotive and Nico actually did an awesome job this weekend and likewise deserved to win the race.”

He added: “Tough. You’ll be able to’t say what the reason being. You’d need to have the info for that, which we don’t have, after all. 

“You’d need to look into it, however now it’s as much as us to catch up on the subsequent check and attempt to perhaps go in a special path.

“However final yr in Monza it was additionally the case that Nico wasn’t that dangerous. Perhaps it’s simply our automotive not matching the monitor. We’ll see on the subsequent race.”

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