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René Rast triumphs in sensational Hockenheim DTM thriller

René Rast triumphs in sensational Hockenheim DTM thriller

05.05.2019: • Audi driver Rast takes incredible victory from 16th on the grid after unusual two-stop strategy

•    Audi driver Rast takes incredible victory from 16th on the grid after unusual two-stop strategy


•    Nico Müller and Robin Frijns lock out all-Audi podium after lengthy battles to the front

 
•    Paul Di Resta shows Aston Martin promise with stint at the head of the race




After a double dose of bad luck in Saturday’s opening race and Sunday morning’s qualifying session, René Rast (GER, Audi) rolled the strategical dice and scored spectacularly to take his first DTM race victory of the 2019 season.



In Sunday’s race at Hockenheim, the German amply demonstrated why he has been feted as one of this year’s title favourites, blending guile and nerve to move through the field from 16th on the grid. He benefited from a mid-race Safety Car intervention to make an early pit-stop for fresh rubber, only just caught the field for the restart, and then pushed hard before making a second stop that helped him consolidate his advantage over the field.



Sometimes up to 1.5 seconds quicker than his rivals throughout the race, he also used his DRS (Drag Reduction System) to overtake one opponent after another. Nico Müller (SUI, Audi) and Robin Frijns (NED, Audi) also made it onto the podium after a thrilling dice with pole-sitter Philipp Eng (AUT, BMW).



Sunshine after the rain: Philipp Eng – bad luck, pole position and then almost a podium



For Eng, Sunday was a worthy reward after a difficult and disappointing Saturday. The Austrian had been stranded on the track during Saturday’s qualifying session with an engine sensor issue. But, as the sunshine returned, so did his good fortune. In the morning’s qualifying session, Eng claimed a dominant pole position, made an incendiary start and led during the first stint. After the mandatory pit-stop, however, he ceded positions to Audi drivers Rast, Müller and Frijns, but came home fourth, the best-placed BMW driver of the day.



Aston Martin also maintained much of the promising momentum it had gathered during Saturday’s qualifying and race sessions. Paul Di Resta (GBR) dived into the pits just before the Safety Car was deployed and benefited from an ideal track position as a result. From lap 24 onwards, the Scot racked up the very first miles in the lead for DTM’s newest manufacturer in the DTM. Di Resta also opted for a two-stop strategy and finished in a quietly impressive seventh place as a result.



In DTM qualifying for the second race during the 2019 season opener at Hockenheim, Marco Wittmann (GER, BMW) was the first driver ever to post a sub-1m30s lap time at the German Grand Prix track with a tin-top race car.




 He set a time of 1m 29.734s. The eventual pole-winning time of 1m 28.972s set by Philipp Eng (AUT, BMW) meant a new record in this respect. In qualifying, 10 from May 17-19  drivers managed to post sub-1m30s lap times. With an output of 610hp, new two-litre turbo engines and a power-to-weight ratio of 1.6kg/hp, this year's DTM is the fastest ever.








Safety Car and Indianapolis Start



The safety car is used to avoid a race being red-flagged. During a safety car phase, all the marshals wave yellow flags and show "SC" boards. Overtaking is forbidden. The safety car takes to the track with its lights switched on and positions itself in front of the leading car. On the lap on which the safety car is set to return to the pit-lane, the yellow flashing lights are switched off. Before reaching the start/finish straight, the field arranges itself ready for the so-called Indianapolis start. The field approaches the start line in rows of two.



The leader approaches the first corner after the start on the inside of the track. He is also responsible for setting the pace. As soon as the leader accelerates, the green flag is waved and the race is restarted. Accelerating is only permitted in the stipulated sector between the first white line and the finish line. No car may pull out of formation before crossing the finish line.




» And then there was …



    … DJ Antoine. The Swiss house DJ raised the roof in the Fan Village during Saturday evening’s show at the DTM season opener. DJ Antoine had his international breakthrough in 2011 with the single "Welcome to St. Tropez". After each race on Saturday, every DTM round now includes an ex-panded early-evening music programme featuring international stars and DJs throughout the season.






From May 17-19, DTM rolls into Zolder, Belgium – venue of the first-ever DTM race back in 1984 – for rounds three and four of the 2019 season.



- ITR  photos DTM

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/rene-rast-sensation-win-dtm-hockenheim---190091.html

05.05.2019 / MaP

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