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Audi RS5 DTM Claims All Three Titles in Season Finale at Hockenheim

by TrackWorthy,

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It was a perfect end to the DTM season for Audi as their RS5 DTM cars finished 1-2 in Saturday’s race clinching the manufacturers and team championship. Jamie Green finished 1st and Mike Rockenfeller finished 2nd in their Audi RS5 DTMs while Timo Glock rounded out the podium finishing 3rd in his BMW M4 DTM. In Sunday’s season finale race the BMW M4 DTM of Marco Wittmann won the race, but Audi RS5 DTM driver René Rast finished 2nd to clinch the drivers’ championship. Mike Rockenfeller finished 3rd in his Audi RS5 DTM.
TrackWorthy - Jamie Green (1)
Audi managed to defend the title in the manufacturers’ championship. Audi Sport Team Rosberg is DTM team champion for the first time. Drivers from all three Audi teams – Mattias Ekström, Jamie Green, René Rast and Mike Rockenfeller – still had a chance of clinching the drivers’ title on Sunday.

30 year old René Rast won the drivers title in his rookie DTM season. The last time a rookie driver won the drivers’ championship was 24 years ago by Italian driver Nicola Larini. Rast snatched the DTM title from Mattias Ekström with a 6th place finish on Saturday and 2nd place finish on Sunday, turning a 21-point deficit into a razor-thin 3-point advantage.

The last time Audi secured all three DTM titles in the same year was 13 years ago.

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(L-R) Jamie Green, René Rast, Mattias Ekström, Mike Rockenfeller

All three manufacturers were represented in the top six drivers’ standings with Audi finishing 1-4 followed by BMW and Mercedes-AMG:

POSITION CAR NO. DRIVER CAR POINTS
1 33 Rene Rast Audi RS5 DTM 179
2 5 Mattias Ekström Audi RS5 DTM 176
3 53 Jamie Green Audi RS5 DTM 173
4 99 Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 DTM 167
5 11 Marco Wittmann BMW M4 DTM 160
6 22 Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 136
Canadians Robert Wickens finished 9th overall in his Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM with 119 points and Bruno Spengler finished 13th in his BMW M4 DTM with 75 points.
“René drove an incredible season,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “There was good reason why we brought him into our DTM squad and we expected him to deliver good performances. But that he’d be battling for the title right in his first DTM year – and even winning it in the end – that’s something no-one really expected, not even René himself. One of the decisive factors was his basic speed. He was the best qualifier this year. I’m also happy for Audi Sport Team Rosberg. The team worked long and hard to finally win a DTM title. Now, with the drivers’ and the teams’ classifications, they scored even two in one go.”
René Rast’s 2017 rookie season was impressive. Right in the Hockenheim season opener he started from the front row for the first time. Two weeks later, the first podium in his young DTM career followed at the Lausitzring and the first victory on the third race weekend at Budapest. With that, Rast took the lead of the standings for the first time as well, which subsequently changed several times between the German and Mattias Ekström. At Moscow and at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Rast managed to clinch two more victories. Plus, his tally reflects three pole positions and a total of four fastest race laps.
TrackWorthy - René Rast (3)

René Rast

“A brilliant year, a brilliant last day,” said René Rast. “I had huge fun the whole season. We had highs as well as lows. I believe the key to success was that we never stopped working hard for it. That we achieved it in the end is simply incredible. My goal was to become the best rookie. I wanted to learn, regularly score points and always finish a race well. Before the season, who’d have thought that I’d instantly be battling for the title? That’s why, in the finale, I actually couldn’t lose anymore. I approached the weekend without pressure and now am overjoyed that it all worked out. My thanks go to Audi who gave me the opportunity to enter the DTM at the age of 30 and this fantastic car, to Team Rosberg in which I felt comfortable from day one and also to my teammate, Jamie Green. He’s one of the fastest drivers in the DTM and once again suffered incredible misfortune.”
TrackWorthy - Jamie Green (3)
“Obviously, the third title was our big aim,” Mattias Ekström stated. “In the end, just a few, yet crucial, points were missing. Our qualifying performance this weekend was just not good enough – that was the key. And then I received a penalty on top of that – that was the killer. Generally, it was a good season. I was particularly happy with my racing performance. But in qualifying, I wasn’t good enough.”

“The season was one of ups and downs, not only for me’” said Jamie Green. “That six drivers traveled to the finale with title chances shows how unpredictable the DTM was this year. Aside from the problems that slowed me here and there, it was a real pleasure to drive as strong a car as the Audi RS 5 DTM. This is a car any race driver can only wish for. Having four drivers heading the standings, plus winning the teams’ classification – you really can’t achieve any more than that. Thank you also to Team Rosberg for the mega job the guys delivered.”

“The team and I were bent on getting out of the hole we were in last year and we managed to do that,” commented Mike Rockenfeller. “As far as the races go, we were doing really well. I won once and was on podium a few times. That in the end it wasn’t enough to finish at the far front was due to the less than perfect qualifying results. Rosberg and René (Rast) simply did a superb job in that respect and in the end clinched a deserved title.”

TrackWorthy - Jamie Green (2)

Jamie Green

“What a finale!” Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Motorsport exclaimed. “The many spectators who traveled to Hockenheim in this fantastic fall weather arguably had no reason for regrets. Both races were spectacular and the title decision couldn’t have been closer. That in the end in René (Rast) a rookie clinched the title – the first time ever in the ‘new’ DTM – is an incredible story. René showed an awesome season and at the crucial moment drove a mega race. He didn’t miss any opportunity and clinched a deserved title win. Our big aim was the drivers’ title and we wrapped it up on Saturday. That then, in the final race, four drivers from all Audi teams were still able to battle for the title was fantastic. We again had a very good car that, above all, delivered a strong racing performance. That made it possible for us, for the first time since 2004, to again claim all three DTM titles in the same year. My thanks go to everyone who made this possible: our squad in Neuburg, Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, our teams and drivers and, last but not least, our suppliers and partners. The DTM this year showed a strong upward curve. That’s why we’re already very much looking forward to the title defense next season.”

René Rast’s career within the Volkswagen Group took him from the Polo Cup all the way to Le Mans and now into the DTM. He won the Porsche Supercup held as part of the Formula 1 supporting program an impressive three times. Since 2011, he has been active under the Audi banner. At the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 sports car, he is regarded as the measure of all things and a driver to guarantee success. His victories in the 24-hour races at Daytona, Spa and at the Nürburgring underline this, as do a title win in the ADAC GT Masters and now the DTM title.

  • TrackWorthy - Timo Glock BMW M4 DTM
  • TrackWorthy-Rene-Rast-21
  • TrackWorthy - Mike Rockenfeller
  • TrackWorthy - Marco Wittmann BMW M4 DTM.

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