Audi’s Rene Rast has described his dramatic Lausitzring crash, which sent the reigning DTM champion into a barrel roll and to hospital for a check-up.
Rast was fighting for position at the back of the pack with Audi colleague Loic Duval at Turn 5. Duval clipped Rast’s rear left spinning him around, and then his RS5 dug into the grass on the outside, rolling twice.
His car came to rest on its wheels, without a roof or windscreen and with almost every panel deformed. Rast got out of the car unassisted and walked away, with his face covered in dust.
“I’m very good, I actually have no pain,” said Rast, who was taken to a local hospital for checks and an x-ray and later released. “I think the crash looked more harsh than it was.
“It felt quite soft in the car and then the landing was a bit harsh but I had no pain when I jumped out of the car, I knew straightaway I was OK, I gave the thumbs up.
“I saw that I had no roof and no windshield anymore, I realised that it must look bad from the outside. There was of course my first thought about my family, the people and the mechanics. I wanted to let them know right away that I was okay.”
Despite the ferocity of the crash, Rast confirmed that it wasn’t violent from within the 2017 champion’s car.
“In the car it didn’t feel terrible,” he told Motorsport.com. “I knew I was rolling, I didn’t have much time to think about it, so I just did the safety position [arms crossed across chest] and prepared for the stop and then it was all good.”
Audi Team Rosberg confirmed that the car would not be able to continue the next day in what was a disappointing day for the squad.
Its other driver, Jamie Green, had already destroyed the front end of his car as he crashed into the stalled Audi of Nico Muller off the start. Green had been behind Rast, and Muller was unsighted, leaving Green no time to react.
Green’s car was turned out ready for Sunday's qualifying where he took 16th, three spots behind the Abt-repaired Muller’s car.