Audi looks to cement the manufacturers’ title at the 500th DTM meeting.
Ahead of the DTM notching up its historic 500th race this weekend, championship leader René Rast reflects on the Lausitzring track and his mixed fortunes at the circuit.
23 August, 2019
The German Touring Car Masters (DTM) will celebrate a milestone this weekend when the series considered by many to be the best touring car racing in the world, notches up its 500th race.
Number 500 will be the Sunday race, but Audi will be looking to score points on both days in a bid to cement the coveted manufacturers’ championship this weekend. Having score 710 points in the first 12 races, Audi is in a strong position against nearest rival, BMW on 426. Audi needs only increase that margin by 20 points to clinch the manufacturers’ championship with two full rounds still to go.
Audi has previously celebrated seven DTM victories at the Lausitzring, but also had to accept a round with zero points in Saturday’s race last year. The footage of René Rast’s spectacular rollover is hard to forget (see below) and potentially cost him last year’s drivers’ title, having won it in 2017 in his rookie year.
“The accident looked worse from the outside than it was,” says the DTM leader. “But the fact that I wasn’t able to compete in the second race on Sunday may have cost me the title. After all, I was lacking only four points.”
Rast has had mixed success at the Lausitzring circuit, including a spectacular crash
Audi has enjoyed tremendous success in the DTM and going into this weekend has contested 304 of the 498 DTM races
Currently, Rast is heading the drivers’ standings with 206 points, while his fellow Audi driver, Nico Müller – the only driver to have scored points in all 12 races this year – trails him by 37 points.
Audi has enjoyed tremendous success in the DTM and going into this weekend has contested 304 of the 498 DTM races. In addition there were a further seven starts with privateer drivers before the official factory presence in 1990 giving the brand 311 starts from 498.
Of these, Audi has celebrated victory no less than 108 times, along with 330 podiums, 99 pole positions and 107 fastest laps. Add to these figures 10 drivers’ titles, six teams’ titles and four manufacturers’ titles and the significance of the DTM to the brand becomes crystal clear.
Different eras have seen different Audi models fly the flag, from the flying V8 quattro cars that won in their first year in 1990, to the TT-R, the all-conquering A4 models and of course the fire-breathing Audi RS 5 DTM models.
A manufacturers’ title this weekend would be the perfect start for Audi to the new two-litre, four-cylinder era of DTM and Head of Audi Motorsport, Dieter Gass, is hoping to wrap that up this weekend. “Traditionally, the drivers’ title has the highest value in the DTM,” says Dieter Gass. “But the manufacturers’ title is very valuable, too. It’s a strong indicator for the work of the entire squad and also for who has the best car. We’ve been very happy so far with the performance of our Audi RS 5 DTM and the new two-litre four-cylinder turbo engine.”
While the DTM will celebrate an historical milestone at the Lausitzring this weekend, Audi and its teams will also be looking to write the next chapter for the brand in its proud motorsport history.
A manufacturers’ title this weekend would be the perfect start for Audi to the new two-litre, four-cylinder era of DTM
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