Monday, June 15, 2015

Le Mans 24 Hours: René Rast, an LMP1 star is born

By Tarek Ramchani

René Rast debuted in the upper LMP1 class at Le Mans 24 Hours this year. The German driver was behind the wheel of the factory #9 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

The German driver finished seventh overall in the French classic with team-mates Marco Bonanomi and Filipe Albuqueruque. It could have been a far better for the three drivers without the issues hitting their R18 e-tron quattro.

Before the race there were some questions about René Rast performances with a factory LMP1 coming from GT racing. The Audi driver's answer was brilliant on track. Very fast, consistant and not making any mistake. René was as fast as all his team-mates at Audi Sport Team Joest who have far more exeprience with the R18 e-tron quattro.

René was even in the lead at some stages of the race and resisted brilliantly to the assualts of the quick Porsche 919 Hybrid cars.

René Rast had mixed feelings at the end of the race. Frustrated about the technical issues but delighted about his performances the work done by his two team-mates.

“A good race for me personally. Into the morning hours, we were running in the top group, sometimes even leading the race. Then we lost ground due to hybrid issues. That’s a shame, but that’s racing.”

“Things weren’t going smoothly for the other two Audi cars either. Now, we’re looking ahead to the next races.”

“I drove eight stints, learned a lot about the car, the tires. ‘Thank you’ also to my two mates – we’re a great team.”

René Rast will not take part in the upcoming FIA WEC races (#9 Audi R18 e-tron quattro doing only Spa and Le Mans races), but one thing is sure, an LMP1 star is born at Le Mans.

The next big target for René Rast will be the Spa 24 Hours. A two times winner of the Belgian classic, René Rast will try to take a third overall victory with the new Audi R8 LMS.

Photo credit: Audi Media