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How three-time champion Rast endured a nightmare weekend at Nurburgring

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Even earlier than the primary laps had been accomplished on the Nurburgring, BMW was downbeat about its possibilities on the former German Grand Prix venue, with the enhance strain of the M4 GT3 having been considerably diminished in comparison with the earlier rounds.

However the choice to go aggressive on technique in each races made issues worse for its most high-profile signing, with Rast failing to attain factors throughout a whole race weekend for under the second time in 4 seasons.

Within the first race on Saturday, Rast was operating in ninth place after finishing his obligatory pitstop on lap 18 of 39. He hadn’t been in a position to replicate the form of tempo that had seen his team-mate Sheldon van der Linde climb from seventeenth to seventh, primarily as a consequence of a set-up that labored over a single-lap however not in race trim, however he was nonetheless in for a strong haul of factors.

Nevertheless, Rast and his engineer Florian Rinkes then collectively determined to make an unscheduled second pitstop for moist tyres throughout a security automotive part, hoping that the rain will get heavier and can immediately make the German a contender for the victory. 

However opposite to their expectations, the rain stopped and the observe dried out shortly, leaving Rast helpless on his grooved Pirelli tyres. The 36-year-old was left with no alternative however to come back in once more for a 3rd time and change again to slicks, leaving him a distant twentieth on the end.

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René Rast, Schubert Motorsport

Photograph by: Alexander Trienitz

Issues did not look any brighter on Saturday as Rast may solely qualify twelfth on the grid in a moist qualifying session, whereas van der Linde managed to place his BMW on the entrance row.

Electing to start out the race on slicks, Rast opted for a cautious method within the opening laps as the primary sector of the observe was nonetheless moist from earlier rain showers. Nevertheless, simply because the observe started to dry out and Rast had began to lap faster than the leaders, the heavens opened up, leaving him weak on slicks.

Rast needed to wait till the pitstop window opened after 20 minutes of racing earlier than he may lastly change to moist tyres, however by then he had already misplaced an excessive amount of floor to his rivals.

Though he confirmed spectacular tempo as soon as his BMW was fitted with grooved Pirellis, Rast completed the race a lap down in nineteenth place, solely forward of Abt Audi’s Kelvin van der Linde, who was a sufferer of a first-lap incident.

“It was hardly price me travelling to the Nurburgring this time,” mentioned a dejected Rast. “That was a weekend to neglect. 

“We selected the fallacious tyre technique in each races, which meant we had no likelihood of scoring any factors. 

“It began to rain on Saturday and we switched to wet-weather tyres. Simply as I appeared to be going sooner, the rain stopped. It was precisely the other on Sunday.

“It’s disappointing, however you’ve gotten weekends like that generally.”

Rast was at all times going to face a troublesome job in including a fourth DTM title to his tally in 2023, having been compelled to overlook the Zandvoort spherical as a consequence of clashing commitments with McLaren in System E. And with half of the season now full, the championship is wanting more and more out of his attain.

The double non-score on the Nurburgring has left him ninth within the standings, 63 factors down on championship chief Thomas Preining (Porsche). And with team-mate van der Linde presently second to Preining however 28 factors off the lead, Rast faces the prospect of getting to help his team-mate’s title bid.

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