Can Rast overhaul Ekstrom's Audi DTM wins record?

With Audi leaving the DTM at the end of the 2020 season, two-time champion Rene Rast has one last opportunity to become the manufacturer’s winningest driver.

Can Rast overhaul Ekstrom's Audi DTM wins record?

Audi announced in April that it would be pulling out of the German tin-top championship after the second season of the Class One era, having been present in some form or another since the series was revived in 2000.

The announcement likely means Rast’s tenure in the DTM will end after just four full seasons, the German driver having made his first appearance in 2016 before stepping up to a full-time seat the following year.

The 33-year-old will replace Daniel Abt in Audi’s Formula E team for the final six races of the 2019/20 season at Berlin in August, and subject to his results, is thought likely be retained alongside Lucas di Grassi for the 2020/21 campaign.

However, Rast has stressed that the DTM remains his priority in 2020, and there’s one record that’s now within his grasp.

Mattias Ekstrom is currently Audi’s most successful driver in the DTM in terms of race wins, having scored 25 victories in a career spanning 18 seasons from 2000-17.

Rast has 17 wins in his tally and needs another eight to match the record of Ekstrom. 

While eight wins in an 18-race season may seem like a stretch, Rast won seven races in each of the last two seasons. In fact, with 17 wins in 58 starts, Rast has an impressive winning rate of 29.3%, far higher than Ekstrom’s 11.52% success rate.

A ninth win in 2020 would help Rast not only topple Ekstrom, but also make him the third most successful driver in the history of the DTM, behind only Bernd Schneider (46, Mercedes) and Klaus Ludwig (38, Mercedes).

Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM

Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM

Photo by: Mario Bartkowiak

Rast himself admits that scoring eight wins and matching Ekstrom’s tally - if not going one better - is possible, but admitted he would rather stay in the DTM for more years than be under pressure to get the record this year.

"It will definitely be close and will depend on how many races are held,” Rast told Motorsport.com. "In the past two years I have won seven races each.

"If it stays at 18 races, it's possible. But I would have preferred to have been able to drive another five or ten years of DTM. Then I could have taken my time with these challenges."

Audi motorsport boss Dieter Gass also believes Rast can equal Ekstrom in terms of race wins, but doesn’t believe the two-time champion is particularly after that record.

"Eight victories is a lot in one season,” Gass told Motorsport.com. “In 2018 and 2019 Rene clinched seven victories each, but as I see it, this is not his priority. 

“He is more motivated by his own motivation. Of course he sets goals for himself, but I don't get the impression that he's particularly driven by these statistics."

Read Also:

shares
comments
Super GT committed to Class One despite DTM uncertainty

Previous article

Super GT committed to Class One despite DTM uncertainty

Next article

Newey DTM drive came from father, Berger “talking rubbish”

Newey DTM drive came from father, Berger “talking rubbish”
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Prime

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in.

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream" Prime

How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet.

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Prime

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works.

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Prime

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Prime

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020