Van der Linde scored extra wins (4) and pole positions (5) than another driver in his rookie season within the DTM and led the championship on the midway level of the 12 months, however in the end completed third within the standings after a controversial finale during which he collided with Pink Bull protege Liam Lawson.
Three-time champion Rast is poised to partner the South African at Abt Sportsline subsequent 12 months, taking the seat vacated by 2013 champion Mike Rockenfeller after spending the present season away from the DTM in Formulation E.
And with the German driver anticipated to face a steep studying curve within the second 12 months of the DTM’s new GT3 system, he would not anticipate himself to be within the title hunt, as an alternative naming van der Linde as the brand new benchmark of the collection.
“Subsequent 12 months I will be again on the grid for Audi Sport as a result of I assumed to myself, ‘now you attempt once more to face as much as the boys’, although will probably be extraordinarily troublesome, due to course [Class One and GT3] are fully totally different automobiles,” Rast advised Sport1 Motor & Sport Magazin.
“The blokes driving up entrance all have lots of expertise on the automobiles and now we have seen guys like Lucas di Grassi, Mike Rockenfeller or Nico Muller, who do not know the automobiles that properly, would possibly discover it a bit tougher. So my possibilities subsequent 12 months usually are not fairly as nice as some individuals would possibly assume.
“I will be very completely satisfied if I am anyplace close to the extent Kelvin is at. He’s definitely the benchmark within the GT3 automotive. You noticed that very clearly this 12 months while you have a look at the place he was and the place the second finest Audi [Rockenfeller] was within the championship.
“From that perspective, I’ll must work actually laborious to get anyplace close to there.”
Kelvin van der Linde, Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3
Picture by: Alexander Trienitz
Rast and van der Linde collectively gained the GT Masters title with Audi in 2014, which instantly led to the South African incomes a manufacturing unit contract with the German producer.
Van der Linde went on to win a second title in GT Masters and likewise has an outright victory on the Nurburgring 24 Hours on his CV.
Rast says he could be completely satisfied to assist the 25-year-old along with his title bid subsequent 12 months, because the three-time champion feels victories are the very best he might hope for on his return to the DTM.
“Driving towards one another is new for us and definitely not simple to deal with,” he stated.
“However, I believe I actually have lots of expertise in motorsport by now and might differentiate fairly properly when I’ve to be, and might perhaps even help him in a single or the opposite scenario within the championship battle.
“I might be completely satisfied if I might compete for victories. After all, it at all times will depend on the tracks, which automotive is aggressive on which observe for the time being. We’ve got seen that this 12 months. Now and again there are tracks that swimsuit one automotive greater than the opposite. It’s important to take that under consideration subsequent 12 months.”
It’s unclear if Rast will stay within the DTM for multiple season as he has been contracted by Audi to guide its return to Le Mans 24 Hours with an LMDh automotive in 2023.
Rast’s former DTM title rival Muller may also be a part of the programme that can embody a full season within the FIA World Endurance Championship, whereas van der Linde can be in competition to drive the successor to the Audi R18.