All wrapped up
Audi teams clinch the championship triple for their final DTM series.
Complete dominance by Audi teams in Belgium over the weekend have seen the brand wrap up the DTM Teams’ Championship for 2020 and put the Drivers’ title beyond doubt – just a matter now of which Audi driver will win.
12 October, 2020
With its success in Belgium over the weekend though, Audi has claimed the drivers’ title in the DTM, although it’s still up in the air as to which Audi driver will take the title
In a way it’s bitter sweet. A clean sweep of the racing in the 2020 DTM Championship at the famed Zolder circuit in Belgium has seen Audi seal all three championships with four races still to run in the series.
That it is the brand’s last season in what is widely regarded as the toughest touring car series in the world makes it an historic achievement and perhaps a little sad that an era is drawing to a close. In a season that, like the rest of world sport, has had to contend with the impact of COVID-19, that the DTM has been able to get going again is a triumph. The racing is as entertaining as ever, even though the usually packed circuits are now empty save for the teams and officials.
With its success in Belgium over the weekend though, Audi has claimed the drivers’ title in the DTM, although it’s still up in the air as to which Audi driver will take the title. Audi had already claimed the manufacturer's title early and this weekend also saw the teams' title decided.
After this weekend’s racing, Nico Müller on 259 points is just ahead of René Rast on 249 and Robin Frijns with 243. For Audi, this is the 12th driver’s title in the DTM and the fourth championship triple after 2004, 2017 and 2019.
“Having all three championship titles in your pocket so early in the season is extraordinary,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “I don’t believe that this has ever happened before in the DTM. It shows how unbelievable the 2020 season is for Audi.”
The man of the moment, certainly this weekend was René Rast, the the two-time DTM champ grabbing pole position in qualifying on Saturday, making it 20 pole positions in a row for Audi.
From there, Rast went on to secure a commanding lights-to-flag victory, which he also crowned with the fastest lap just for good measure.
On Sunday, things didn’t go quite to script, with a car fire on the grid almost ending his weekend prematurely. But ultimately starting from the second row of the grid, even before the first corner he had overtaken the two BMWs that had started in front of him.
Then fortune favoured Rast again with his team’s decision to bring him into the pits on lap 12 for new tyres. Just one lap later, the safety car was deployed, meaning all those drivers who had not yet pitted at that time – including championship leader Nico Müller – where out of contention.
“This was a crazy race in which many things happened,” said Rast. “The fire on the starting grid. At the start from three to one even before the first corner. The safety car. We made the right decisions today and had a perfect car again. I’ve always said that one or two races can decide everything and things can turn around very quickly again.”
The race was a points boon for Rast and pushed him to within 10 points of Müller with another two races to be held at Zolder next weekend and then the seasons finale with two races at Hockenheim.
This means that any one of the three Audi drivers can wrap up the drivers’ title in this, the last go round for Audi in the DTM.
The race was a points boon for defending champion Rast and pushed him to within 10 points of Müller with four races still to run
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