Sport Rast's victory under cramps at 24h Spa 2014: "I couldn't get my hands off the wheel"

14:15  24 october  2020
14:15  24 october  2020 Source:   de.motorsport.com

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The victory at the 24-hour race in Spa 2014 was the international breakthrough for Rene Rast - and an exertion that pushed him to his physical limits.

Wenn The starting shot for this year's edition of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will be given on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., Rene Rast may feel a little sad. The reigning DTM champion has canceled the start of the GT3 spectacle on the "Ardennes rollercoaster" this week as well as his DTM colleagues Nico Müller and Robin Frijns in order not to take any risks in the fight for the title - something because of the corona situation is also understandable.

Spa is not only one of Rast's favorite tracks, it also marked a turning point in his career six years ago. "The victory at the 24-hour race in Spa 2014 changed a lot. After that, things really started for me," says Rast, who in retrospect speaks of the "most important race" of his career.

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But the race six years ago, which he won together with Laruens Vanthoor and Markus Winkelhock in the Audi R8 LMS ultra of the Belgian racing team WRT, Rast has another reason in mind. "It wasn't the most difficult, it was the most exhausting," he recalls.

Almost 12 hours in the car in the stifling heat

"That was a brutally hot race", says Rast looking back on the event on July 26th and 27th, 2014, which took place in high summer temperatures. "You sweated so much in the old R8 because the ventilation was so bad that at some point you couldn't absorb enough fluid," says Rast.

Under these already difficult conditions, Rast had to master a real show of strength: "Laurens was ill at one point, he wasn't feeling well, and at one point he couldn't drive much anymore. I drove for almost twelve hours in this race on my own the other two shared the other twelve hours. "

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Rast also drove the final stint in the last two laps, passing the BMW leading up to that point shortly before the end of the race, thus securing victory for his team. Which was even more remarkable when you consider his physical condition at the time.

Cramps from sheer dehydration

"I was so dehydrated because I drove so much that at some point while driving I noticed that I couldn't let go of the steering wheel. Suddenly my hands were clenched on the steering wheel. I noticed that that something is wrong, but I still focused and drove, "says Rast.

"When the race was over, I wanted to get out of the car and realized that I couldn't let go of the steering wheel. And at some point I got every single finger. But I was so dehydrated that as soon as I moved the muscle I was , immediately got a cramp in my whole body, "says Rast, describing the painful end of the race. "That was the hardest thing I've ever seen in my career."

DTM race Zolder 1: Winner Rast new DTM leader, Müller experiences nightmare

 DTM race Zolder 1: Winner Rast new DTM leader, Müller experiences nightmare © ITR Next victory: Rene Rast takes on Robin Frijns in Zolder through defending champion Rene Rast had announced it - now it has happened: The Rosberg -Audi driver wins the third race of four races in Zolder on Saturday ahead of Abt Audi driver Robin Frijns and WRT Audi driver Ferdinand Habsburg - and thus takes the lead in the Championship .

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From the point of view of WRT team boss Vincent Vosse, the victory of Rast, Vanthoor and Winkelhock in 2014 was special for another reason. "The 24-hour race in Spa in 2014 started in an unfavorable way," recalls Vosse in an interview with 'Motorsport-Total.com'. "I had a few problems with Rene and Laurens before the race. There was a lot of discussion."

How Rast's hussar ride secured WRT-Audi victory

"I said to both of them: I'm not sure if we have the fastest car, but it's definitely very fast. We have a great team and we have the best drivers That goes for both of you. Because of you, we'll win, and you'll prove it in the race. But let's race the race and we'll tell you who's going when. "

Rene Rast © Provided by motorsport.com Rene Rast

The winning Audi R8 LMS ultra from Rast, Vanthoor and Winkelhock

Photo: SRO Motorsports Group

"Laurens got off to a great start. He led the race and took a big lead. In That night we had a problem with refueling. We couldn't refuel and so we lost time on the BMW. We lost the lead because of that. And Laurens was a little ailing. The stress and all the driving was a burden. 'Winki' has did exactly what we expected of him - a squeaky clean performance. "

3rd win in a row! Rast grabs DTM lead

 3rd win in a row! Rast grabs DTM lead Rast, who had already won both races in Zolder, Belgium last weekend, now has 277 points, followed by Müller with 267 and Frijns with 262. "It's gigantic to be back again being at the top. It was not an easy race, even if it looked like that, "said Rast on Sat.1 :" I'm super happy, it couldn't have gone better. " It has been clear for weeks that the trio will fight for the title among themselves.

I remember the brown, crumbly dust of late summer that gets into the eyes and makes them water. There must have been green lawns and paved streets under leafy shady trees somewhere in town. One day returns to me clearly for some reason. I was resting under the great oak tree in the yard.

Livin' in a gangsta' s paradise [Verse 2: Coolio] Look at the situation they got me facin' I can' t live a normal life, I was raised by the street So I gotta be down with the hood team Too much television watching, got me chasing dreams I 'm a educated fool with money on my mind Got my ten in my hand .

"And then in the end we almost always let Rene drive: He has certainly completed three and a half of the last five hours. He got in, drove one record lap after the other. And 15 minutes before the end he caught up with the factory BMW, overtook him and drove up and away. We won the race by a margin of seven seconds ", Vosse remembers the rush of Rast.

Vincent Vosse likes to think about the collaboration with Rast

And for the team boss, too, this outstanding achievement by Rast marked a milestone in the German's career. "Dr. Ullrich was one of the first to approach Rene. And I think that he told him at the time that he is now a works driver at Audi. After that, he drove LMP1," said Vosse.

The Belgian still fondly thinks back to his collaboration with Rast. "I really have a lot of good memories of Rene - and a lot of discussions. Not all of these discussions were good, but the result was always good," said Vosse. "Rene is a clever guy. He demands a lot from you - like all champions in all series. But that's why he wins so much."

With images from Audi AG.

That's why Pelé is still the best footballer in the world .
© ITR Green shortened the chicane, the exchange of places was a long time coming After the DTM Sunday race in Zolder , with Rene Rast's Rosberg Audi team-mate Jamie Green despite shortening the chicane Abt-Audi title candidate Nico Müller, there were rumors that the Rosberg troop had deliberately delayed the order of the race management to swap places. To give Rast an advantage in the duel against Müller.

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