Rookie Rast storms to DTM title

2017 DTM champ Rene Rast
2017 DTM champ Rene Rast

A rookie driver rocks the DTM and wins the title: Rene Rast is the man of the moment and the new DTM champion. In the DTM season finale at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the Audi driver crossed the finish line in second place and secured himself the 15 kilograms heavy champion’s trophy in his first full season of racing in the DTM.

Until the final lap, the 30-year-old didn’t know whether he had made it. It was only on the cooling-down lap that the relieving radio call from team principal Arno Zensen came to inform him of his success.

After that, Rast didn’t hold back his emotions and pumped his fists in the air to express his joy over and over again.

“I can’t yet put this into words," Rast said at the finish. “It is all still so far away. An incredibly emotional moment and the best day in my life."

Outgoing champion Marco Wittmann concluded the DTM season with a victory. In the finale, the BMW driver secured his maiden win of the season and the ninth of his DTM career.

“Every driver wants a victory in the final race," the outgoing champion said. Mike Rockenfeller, who also had mathematical chances of winning the title, rounded out the podium by finishing third. Gary Paffett came fourth with his Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM.

For Rast, the road to the title was a rough and rocky one. He messed up the start, lost three positions on the opening lap and dropped back to fifth place. Rast then had his hands on the champion’s trophy for the first time on lap five as he overtook Robert Wickens for fifth place while his direct rivals in the battle for the title, Mattias Ekstrom and Jamie Green, were outside the point-scoring positions at that time.

Due to penalties incurred in the race on Saturday, both drivers had started the final race at a disadvantage: Green had been dropped ten, Ekstrom five places on the starting grid. In the course of the race, Green and Ekstrom were able to make their way up to fifth and eighth place respectively, but that wasn’t enough to keep Rast from wrapping up the title.

Mike Rockenfeller also did everything to remain in contention, but the 33-year-old would have had to win. With the 18 points for second place, Rast brought his total to 179 points. Next up are Ekstrom (176 points), Green (173 points) and Rockenfeller (167 points).

DTM finale a festival for the fans

The outing of the SUPER GT cars from Japan, who completed demonstration laps on Saturday and Sunday together with the DTM cars from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG, left a lasting impression from the future. The Lexus LC500 and the Nissan Nismo GT-R, together with the DTM race cars, provided spectacular sights and a great sound for the fans at the Hockenheimring.

“Thus, we have made the co-operation tangible. They are fascinating race cars. The sound of the four-cylinder engines is great. Initially, I was sceptical, but now, we know: the DTM cars of the future will have a great racing sound," Gerhard Berger said.

Not only from a sporting perspective, the DTM finale had everything in store to stir the motorsport fans’ blood. Another highlight was the concert by German band ‘Die Fantastischen Vier’ on Saturday evening, who fascinated the DTM fans with the hits from the band history of over 25 years.

On top of that, numerous stars and starlets visited the race weekend at Hockenheim including Sebastian Vettel (four times’ Formula 1 World Champion), Moritz Bleibtreu (actor), Lena Gercke (model and presenter), Fabian Hambüchen (gymnastics World and Olympic champion), JP Kraemer (presenter and producer), Franziska Knuppe (model), Oliver Pocher (Comedian) and Alex Zanardi (race driver and multiple handbike world and Paralympics champion).

Race 2 Results

1 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 36 0.000s
2 Rene Rast Rosberg Audi 36 3.143s
3 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 36 6.280s
4 Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 36 15.844s
5 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 36 17.835s
6 Maxime Martin RBM BMW 36 19.372s
7 Augusto Farfus RMG BMW 36 20.386s
8 Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 36 21.229s
9 Edoardo Mortara HWA Mercedes 36 22.902s
10 Lucas Auer HWA Mercedes 36 29.260s
11 Nico Muller Abt Audi 36 30.428s
12 Timo Glock RMR BMW 36 33.274s
13 Maro Engel HWA Mercedes 36 41.344s
14 Bruno Spengler RBM BMW 36 41.591s
15 Loic Duval Phoenix Audi 36 42.972s
16 Paul Di Resta HWA Mercedes 36 1m35.770s
17 Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 29 7 Laps
Tom Blomqvist RMR BMW 26 Retirement

Final drivers' standings

1 Rene Rast 179
2 Mattias Ekstrom 176
3 Jamie Green 173
4 Mike Rockenfeller 167
5 Marco Wittmann 160
6 Lucas Auer 136
7 Timo Glock 133
8 Maxime Martin 132
9 Robert Wickens 119
10 Gary Paffett 102
11 Paul Di Resta 99
12 Nico Muller 81
13 Bruno Spengler 75
14 Edoardo Mortara 61
15 Maro Engel 51
16 Augusto Farfus 35

Final manufacturers’ standings:
1 Audi 798 points
2 Mercedes-Benz 568 points
3 BMW 560 points

Final teams’ standings:
1 Audi Sport Team Rosberg 352 points
2 Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 257 points
3 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me 221 points

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