“You may’t make him a promise in 2023”

( – Why does the automobile producer that loves Audi willingly half with the most effective drivers after twelve years collectively? That is what many followers are questioning after the Ingolstadt-based firm introduced on Tuesday that Rene Rast, the three-time DTM champion, was leaving the corporate early regardless of a contract working till the tip of 2023.

René Rast and Rolf Michl
© Audi AG

Audi Head of Operations Rolf Michl and Rene Rast in entrance of his three DTM trophies.

zoom in

“Audi is getting ready your entire motorsport program for electrification,” argues the brand new head of Audi, Rolf Michl, who has been working since April. Then they sit down with Rast and his boss Dennis Rostek for an “open dialogue” about what they wish to obtain sooner or later.

“In fact, Rene has just a few objectives, he desires to set a course in just a few new methods. And but Audi can’t make him a suggestion for subsequent 12 months,” Michl explains why no settlement has been reached.

No Rast prospects at Audi
Which means it is clear: the LMDh program initially deliberate for Rast, the place the 35-year-old needed to attain his dream of total Le Mans victory, was stopped as a result of the Dakar challenge was too costly. Audi left System E in 2021, nonetheless worthwhile for drivers.

The one remaining manufacturing unit challenge within the Dakar Rally has no sporting curiosity for Rast as a result of he has no expertise within the off-road sector. And Audi’s System 1 plans are usually not an issue, as a result of entry into the premier class shouldn’t be deliberate till 2026: Rast shall be virtually 40 years outdated at the moment – and has little expertise within the single-seater sector.

After 12 years: Rene Rast says goodbye to Audi
Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast can look again on a profitable profession with the Audi model. Extra DTM movies

That leaves solely GT3 meets and Audi Sport Buyer Racing – however Rast may be very happy with that. “Our most important aim is to offer the licensed racing driver with the chance for additional improvement,” stated Audi’s Michl. Rast was in a position to present that previously, however not anymore.

Separation is “very troublesome from a human perspective”
In accordance with Michl, parting with Rast, who will change to McLaren in System E, shouldn’t be with out melancholy. “Now we have reached the choice to separate our skilled partnership on the finish of the season and subsequent 12 months. It is vitally troublesome from a private viewpoint, as a result of we’re not speaking about only a driver right here, we’re speaking a couple of long-term pal.”

Photograph gallery: Rene Rast’s DTM profession

Ultimately, nevertheless, respect for Rast and his work led to the choice to let him go: “We like to present you extra alternatives to develop extra on the race observe,” stated Michl. However the friendship will proceed sooner or later – there have been “just a few ideas” within the current.

Rast fights again tears
Rast himself talks about “a day of feelings and difficulties” – and fights again tears. “Audi Sport made me the driving force I’m immediately. I had a number of good instances right here – and I wish to thank everybody for his or her efforts. Everybody has all the time had my again and helped me.” Even in troublesome instances, “we all the time inspired one another,” he says.

No less than the recollections of the profitable season will final ceaselessly, in accordance with Rast: “I am simply grateful that Audi Sport gave me the chance to meet my goals as a racing driver. To be a three-time DTM champion is particular. And even once I’m outdated, I will look again on these instances.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button