Hockenheim/Germany, 13th October 2018 – René Rast started from third place on the grid in summery temperatures at the Hockenheimring. The defending champion initially dropped back a place, but battled his way into second place behind race leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) on lap five. The Audi driver came in for his fresh set of Hankook race tyres on lap 13, after which he launched his assault on the lead. He passed Paffett shortly after, heralding ten laps of thrilling racing between the two DTM drivers, which kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.
The decisive moment came at the restart following a safety car phase. Rast was able to open up a bit of a gap, while Paffett could not prevent Timo Glock (BMW) and then Robin Frijns (Audi) from passing him. Dutchman Frijns benefitted from a late pit stop on lap 21 and went on to pass Glock on his fresher set of the Hankook race tyre.
After 34 laps of racing, Rast found himself in what has become a familiar situation for him – crossing the finish line first, this time ahead of fellow Audi man Robin Frijns. Third place went to Glock. Paffett came home fourth and now leads the Drivers’ Championship with 239 points. Fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Paul di Resta, who had to settle for eighth place, is second in the overall standings with 233 points. DTM’s man of the hour, Rast, follows in third place with 224 points.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “That was motorsport of the very highest standard. The battle between René and Gary was well worth the entry money on its own. The championship now goes down to the very last race on Sunday. That shows how evenly matched the DTM is, even if René is currently enjoying an incredible run that has seen him become the first DTM driver ever to win five races in a row. As it has done all season, the Hankook race tyre impressed on a very difficult track in Hockenheim and provided exactly what the drivers and fans want: plenty of grip and high levels of consistency.”
René Rast (Audi): “I am incredibly happy to have made it five race wins in a row. The Hankook race tyres held up very well over the entire race distance. I obviously had to manage the tyres a little towards the end of the race, but we really can’t complain about anything today.”
Robin Frijns (Audi): “I had a lot of grip right from the start and was able to fight my way through the field on the Hankook race tyre. After the late pit stop on lap 21, I was able to push really hard on the fresh set of Hankook tyres. This allowed me to climb into second place.”
Timo Glock (BMW): “The Hankook race tyres performed well. At first, I was hardly able to make up any positions in heavy traffic. I had a clear run on my second stint and was able to take full advantage of the high grip levels provided by the Hankook tyre. At the end of the race, there was a lot of debris on the track and it was incredibly slippery. Unfortunately, you had to drive a little more cautiously in these conditions.”
Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz): “As always this year, we were very good in qualifying. The Hankook tyres worked perfectly. We also had good pace on the very hot track in the race and were exactly as quick as the opposition. Unfortunately, we were unable to get the Hankook tyre up to the optimal temperature on the very dirty track after the restart.”