After a year of racing in Formula E, driver Abt Audi had a difficult return to the series in Portimao, as he did not score points, and admitted that on his way to eighth place in his R8 LMS Evo II he was quite difficult to drive. Lausitzring in the first Saturday race.
But after his mechanics worked late into the evening on an “inverted” change of mood, Rast got a productive second place on Sunday and felt “much more comfortable in the car” on his way to third in the race, just 1.817 seconds behind the winner Sheldon van der Linde.
“Obviously, I’m happy with the podium and the scores, but most of all I’m happy with what we’ve achieved since yesterday,” he said.
“Yesterday the car was quite difficult to drive and I was spinning maybe five or six times.
“Today was a lot easier, I had a much better car, the guys worked all night and changed the setting from left to right, upside down and made huge strides.”
Asked to explain the changes, Rast said it was a “completely different philosophy” that would give him a “basis for the upcoming weekend”.
“I feel much more comfortable in the car, I still need to refine here and there, but we saw that the direction is right, and it’s very positive next weekend,” he said.
He later added: “After Portimao I was not very confident. Now I am much more confident, obviously, and more motivated to score more points and hopefully more podiums. ”
Podium: Rene Rast, ABT Sportsline team
Photo: Andreas Bale
Abt team boss Thomas Birmeyer admitted that the team is “not yet where we want to be” but was delighted with Rasta’s result.
“We still need to work to really understand the Evo II,” he said.
“But I’m incredibly happy for Rene. He earned his first podium with hard work, his whole team worked hard. “
Rasta’s partner Ricardo Feller bounced back from a puncture that led to his retirement in the first race and finished seventh in the second race, but a contender for the DTM 2021 title Kelvin van der Linde failed to score in any race after what he called an “extremely difficult weekend”.
The South African in both cases qualified in the middle net, withdrew from the race after the first lap of the gravel ride caused a vibration, and in the second race made an additional pit stop to switch to the starting tires – thus saving the set for the next round in Imola. – when it turned out that there were no points on the cards.
“We’re raising Kelvin again after this weekend,” Birmaer added. “We will do everything possible to return him to his former strength in Imola.”