Rene Rast makes DTM history with double pole and victory
René Rast made history at the Nürburgring on Sunday as, like on Saturday, the 2017 DTM champion claimed pole position and then went on to win the race on Sunday, thus, becoming the first driver to score the maximum number of 56 points on one weekend.
"That is an unbelievable moment," an overjoyed Rast commented after crossing the finish line. "I really am lost for words."
Mercedes-AMG driver Paul Di Resta finished second in the 16th race of the season after having progressed from eleventh on the grid. With his BMW, Marco Wittmann rounded out the podium in the Eifel. Thus, like on Saturday, all three manufacturers were represented on the podium.
With four races remaining this season, the gaps in the DTM drivers’ standings have become even smaller. Gary Paffett (206 points) remains in the lead, but he is only two points ahead of Di Resta (204). Rast (149) is now third in the standings.
Rast was the undisputed man of the weekend. A pair of pole positions and two race wins, a feat that nobody else had achieved prior to the reigning champion. At Zandvoort this season, Gary Paffett had come close, but on Sunday, it was Rast who won the race while Paffett came second.
"It is hard to find words to describe the weekend at the Nürburgring. It will be almost impossible to top this in the next races. I was on the second page of the drivers’ standings and now I am in third place," added Rast.
"Now, we are looking ahead. Everything is possible and many things can happen. We have closed the gap."
Another one who has closed the gap again is Paul Di Resta. With second place in the race on Sunday, he reduced the gap to Paffett in the drivers’ standings. With four races remaining, only two points separate the two Mercedes-AMG teammates.
"Unlike yesterday, things were really going well today. Making it from eleventh place on the grid to finish second is by no means evident in the DTM," the Scot commented.
Marco Wittmann was also happy. After finishing fourth on Saturday, the German came third on Sunday: "Prior to the race, I was already optimistic, even though ninth place on the grid wasn’t the best position to start from. Of course, we have also benefited from others having bad luck, but we also did a good job in working our way up.
"I am happy for my RMG team that I have at least scored a podium finish in the team’s home race."
One of the drivers who had bad luck on Sunday was the leader in the drivers’ standings, Gary Paffett. His mandatory pit stop on lap 19 took 11.1 seconds due to problems with his right rear-wheel. Instead of coming out in second place behind Rast, he rejoined the race four places further down and ended up fifth behind BMW's Bruno Spengler.