Audi Sport

Rast claims DTM title in rookie season at Hockenheim finale

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Rene Rast became the first rookie to win the DTM title since 1993 after overturning a 21-point deficit in the final round of the season at Hockenheim, clinching the crown for Audi.

Long-term Audi factory racer Rast moved into DTM full-time for 2017 after dotting around sports car series for a few years, taking his first win at the Hungaroring.

Further victories in Moscow and Spielberg put Rast in title contention for the season-ending double-header at Hockenheim, albeit trailing fellow Audi racer Mattias Ekstrom by 21 points.

Despite failing to score in Saturday’s opener, Ekstrom still held a nine-point advantage over Jamie Green heading into the final race, with Rast sitting a further four points back after finishing sixth.

Rast started the title showdown from second on the grid, only to drop back to fifth and put his aspirations at risk before picking his way back up the order through the race.

Rast eventually crossed the line second to jump from third to first in the standings as Green and Ekstrom were classified fifth and eighth respectively.

The success marks Rast’s first major title in racing since he won the 2012 Porsche Supercup, and is his maiden crown in Audi colors.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”