Rast to decide on pursuing long-term Formula E deal after debut

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BERLIN, Germany – Seasoned sportscar racer Rene Rast will wait until after his debut Formula E race in Berlin before making a decision on pursuing a full-time drive in the series.

Rast has been drafted in by Team Aguri as a replacement for Antonio Felix da Costa, who is tied up with a prior commitment in the DTM this weekend in Austria.

Rast has not raced in a single-seater since 2004 when he was in the German Formula BMW championship, but has been in contact with Aguri for a while regarding a possible opportunity.

“I was in contact with the team already like beginning of the year because we knew there was a conflict with DTM for da Costa in Berlin,” Rast said.

“Last week the team called me and said ‘there might be trouble with Adam, could you jump in?’ I said ‘of course! I would love to!’ and then we made it happen.

“Of course it was not easy because the e-licence requires quite a lot of experience in formula cars. I just did two years in formula cars and this was 12 years ago. It was not easy to get the licence but we managed it and now I’m here and looking forward to it.”

Rast refused to make any firm predictions for the weekend, but knows from the results achieved by da Costa that a good points finish is in reach.

“Maybe ask me after first free practice again, because I have no idea to be honest,” Rast said when asked about his expectations.

“I don’t know how the car will handle. I don’t know how strong we will be here. Expectations are high. I saw what Antonio was doing in the past races.

“I would love to finish in the points, but I know it’s going to be difficult as energy management is a key to success. Also the qualifying. I think points would be very nice.”

Looking ahead to the future, Rast said he will wait and see how his debut weekend goes before making a decision on whether or not to pursue a full-time drive in the series.

“I need to see how the weekend goes,” Rast told NBC Sports.

“Afterwards, maybe the car doesn’t suit me at all, I’m last by five seconds, we can forget about the future and Formula E.

“But of course if I do a good job, it would be nice to join someone. So let’s see.”

INDYCAR: Patricio O’Ward turns heads in Carlin debut

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.

19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.

“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.

Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.

In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.

O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.

But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.

After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”

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