Three-time DTM champion Rast will compete for BMW in a variety of GT3 races and championships this yr, having ended a decade-long association with rival German marque Audi within the wake of its determination to scrap its LMDh programme.
The 36-year-old bought his first expertise of BMW’s GT3 contender as a part of a two-day personal check at Oschersleben final month and logged extra miles within the M4 within the official DTM check at Spielberg a fortnight in the past.
Rast mentioned after his first outing at Oschersleben that he was having to utterly change his driving model to adapt to the M4, which is a totally totally different automobile to the Audi R8 LMS GT3 he’s accustomed to from his time with the Ingolstadt-based producer.
Now having had two extra days of working within the automobile, Rast mentioned he nonetheless must put in additional work to have the ability to match the tempo of reigning champion Sheldon van der Linde, who will likely be his team-mate at Schubert Motorsport this yr.
“You may by no means inform if the purpose will come that you simply actually drive on the identical stage as Sheldon,” he says in an interview with Autosport’s sister title. Motorsport-Complete.com.
“I hope that in some unspecified time in the future the BMW will match me like a glove, however it’s not sure that that can occur. I am going to do every part I can, however sadly there is not any assure.”
René Rast, Schubert Motorsport
Picture by: Alexander Trienitz
Rast was seventh and three tenths off the last word tempo within the Spielberg check, whereas van der Linde completed an in depth second to pacesetter and Mercedes driver Maro Engel regardless of lacking the opening day of motion to participate in an NLS race.
He was additionally fractionally slower than two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann, who will drive for the brand new Undertaking 1 group this yr following Walkenhorst’s withdrawal from the collection.
Each van der Linde and Wittmann have one season of racing with the M4 GT3 underneath their belt, with the previous additionally getting extra mileage when he drove the automobile to victory within the Kyalami 9 Hours earlier this yr.
Rast defined that he’s nonetheless having to make adjustments in his personal driving to get the utmost out of the BMW, which is radically totally different to the Audi with which he completed third within the championship final yr.
The mid-engined R8 LMS is stronger in cornering pace and on the brakes, whereas the M4 is superior in acceleration out of the nook.
“Driving model continues to be the problem,” mentioned Rast. “With Sheldon you’ll be able to see that he slows down the automobile after which accelerates early once more.
“I nonetheless see an inclination in myself to attempt to pressure the automobile into corners an excessive amount of. The synapses in my head nonetheless need to be linked and the others should be deleted. I am certain that can take some time.
“So you need to put all of your concentrate on being at full throttle early and utilizing the engine to deliver all the ability to the straight. It is a bit totally different than the Audi.”
Additional explaining the necessity to change his driving model, Rast added that foregoing nook pace to get a greater exit makes him suppose that he’s not pushing the automobile to the restrict.
“You suppose to your self that you would be able to really drive quicker, however you need to pressure your self to not so that you simply get the great exit that fits the BMW,” he mentioned.
“It is nonetheless bizarre. And I usually catch myself pushing an excessive amount of within the nook after which realising on the finish of the nook that I used to be too quick once more after which did not get a great exit. It is not at all times simple.
“You may’t attempt to reinvent the wheel now. It’s a must to give it time and belief that your driving model will finally take over and that it’ll work.”
Rast will get one other day’s value of working within the M4 GT3 at Oschersleben forward of the DTM season opener on the identical venue on Could 27-28.