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Classics "I was lucky": Why Rast stopped in front of the safety car

19:55  11 october  2020
19:55  11 october  2020 Source:   motorsport-total.com

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Rene Rast war zum richtigen Zeitpunkt am richtigen Ort © ITR Rene Rast was in the right place at the right time

When Robin Frijns crashed into the wall at the pit exit in Zolder, there was a safety car Phase in the air. Just a few seconds later, the current DTM champion Rene Rast turned into the pit lane to make his mandatory stop. That was pure luck, as the man from Minden reveals after the race. His Rosberg Audi team did not react to the Dutchman's accident in a flash, which would not have been possible due to the radio ban, but had already planned the stop.

Rene Rast © Audi Rene Rast "I was just lucky," says Rast after his second DTM victory in a row. "We didn't speak on the radio. I was shown the pit board after Robin came in. So we made sure he wasn't doing an undercut on us." The Rosberg team had therefore planned to pit the Audi driver right after Frijns in order not to have a strategic disadvantage.

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"Then he had the crash at the pit exit," said Rast. "I don't know if there was a yellow flag or if you were allowed to speak to me. You definitely didn't. I only found out about the crash when I pulled into the pit lane." Just a few seconds after Rast stopped, the safety car was sent out onto the track.

The German had already made his mandatory pit stop and started the race again on new tires. Rast, who had already dominated the initial phase, then fought his way to the top without any problems and won the race ahead of Mike Rockenfeller and Lucas Auer, while Nico Müller, who was not in the pits before the safety car phase, only came in ninth Goal came.

Rast's start almost went up in flames at

Before the race, Rast was worried for a long time about his start in Zolder's second DTM race. When he parked his Audi on the grid, the car suddenly started to burn in the engine compartment. The Rosberg mechanics reacted very quickly and prevented anything worse. 15 minutes before the start of the race it was clear: Rast could take part in the race.

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Video: DTM Zolder 1 2020: Spectacular qualifying pictures on a wet track (Motorsport-Total.com)

Your browser does not support this video "Yes, there were flames under my hood, but fortunately my mechanics reacted quickly and brought the situation under control without anything being damaged, "said the DTM champion. "They stayed cool and managed it well. At the start, I moved up from third to first place before the first corner. That was the key to today's success."

"I saw in the mirror that I was almost hit by Timo [Glock], who was then turned just behind me," explains Rast. "I was lucky there too today. Then the pit stop came at the right moment. We were lucky that we were in the pits when the safety car was sent out."

Rast then tried to stay out of all trouble. Although there was a paint job here and there with Marco Wittmann and Lucas Auer, the Rosberg Audi driver

drove calmly to the fourth win of the season . After the first of two Zolder weekends, Rast is only ten points short of Müller, who is still at the top of the overall standings. Title defense within reach

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Rast doesn't want to talk about extra motivation after the perfect weekend in Belgium: "We are always motivated! It was unlikely to take almost all the points here this weekend. The competition also had their problems. We have There are still four races to go and the good thing is that there are two more races to take place here. "

The four-kilometer Circuit Zolder has been repaved and is therefore significantly faster than in the past. Moisture also disappears quickly on the new road surface. Rast believes that the new asphalt played a key role for him.

"The track seems to fit both my driving style and the car," he says. "That is positive. But we saw this weekend that anything can happen, which is why the story next weekend can be completely different. We have to stay focused and try to get the most out of it."

There will be two more DTM races in Zolder this coming weekend before the season finale at the Hockenheimring on October 7th and 8th.

Four races before the end of the season, Müller is ten points ahead of Rast and 16 points ahead of Frijns, who did not collect any points in the second race in Belgium due to his failure.

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