Reigning DTM Champion Defends Title with Back-to-Back Wins on Hankook Tires
Hankook Tire, the exclusive tire provider for the DTM series, provided René Rast with optimal support in both low and high temperatures on the Sept. 8th and 9th races at the iconic circuit in the Eifel Mountains, Nürburgring, Germany, propelling Rast to claim two victories. The Audi driver became the first driver in the history of the DTM to not only win both races, but also secure pole positions during both races.
Rast’s finishing position, a mere eight tenths of a second ahead of second place BMW driver Bruno Spengler, during Saturday’s race placed him in a pole position for Sunday’s race, resulting in a comfortable win for the 31-year-old driver. During Sunday’s race, Rast came in for his mandatory pit stop on lap 17, after which he controlled the field on his fresh set of Hankook slicks. After 40 laps of racing, the German crossed the finish line first, claiming his sixth DTM victory.
“I am really happy with the weekend. Everything went fantastically well,” said René Rast. “The new minimum air pressures make it a little bit more difficult, but I had a good feeling with the Hankook race tire. I took my foot off the gas a little towards the end, and that proved to be the right tactic.”
Rast was followed home by Mercedes-Benz driver Paul Di Resta, who started the race from eleventh on the grid. Behind Di Resta was BMW driver Marco Wittmann, who climbed six places from his ninth position on the grid to finish third and take the final spot on the podium. Di Resta’s second place finish puts him within just two points of championship leader Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett, who finished fifth on Sunday.
“After the poor result on Saturday, today’s second place was obviously important – particularly given that I started the race from eleventh place,” said Paul Di Resta. “The high cold air pressure means we are lacking a little bit of grip, but our rivals have the same conditions and appeared to be able to cope better with them.”
“The race went very well for us. We knew that we had to complete the full distance on the compulsory minimum tire pressures and adapted perfectly to that,” said Marco Wittmann. “I pitted for new tires in the middle of the race. That was ideal. Both sets of Hankook tires had a consistently good pace and I was able to climb from ninth on the grid to finish on the podium.”
“René Rast scored maximum points at the Nürburgring, with two race wins and two pole positions, and is now right back in the race for the DTM title,” said Hankook Tire Motorsport Director Europe, Manfred Sandbichler. “However, it will be a tough ask, as the two Mercedes-Benz drivers out in front, Gary Paffett and Paul Di Resta, regularly receive points. The title race will probably be decided at the finale in Hockenheim, and the Hankook race tire will ensure that it remains exciting right down to the finish.”
In other exciting news, BMW Team RBM completed the fastest pit stop of the race weekend with a time of 35.597 seconds. They were rewarded with 25 points toward the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award.
For more information on Hankook Tire, visit www.hankooktire.com/global.