Rast efficiently overhauled Audi stablemate Nico Muller to clinch his third DTM title final 12 months, turning into probably the most profitable DTM driver for the Ingolstadt-based marque and incomes a spot among the many sequence’ nice.
The German driver’s full-time participation within the DTM was by no means probably after he was signed by Audi to race in Components E this season, partnering 2016/17 Components E champion Lucas di Grassi.
Nonetheless, when Audi announced last month that Muller and 2013 champion Mike Rockenfeller would represent the marque in the DTM this 12 months, it left the door open for Rast to finish an element marketing campaign, stating he would make appearances in ‘choose buyer racing occasions’ that would embrace the DTM.
However Rast has now clarified that he gained’t return to the DTM in spite of everything, concentrating all his efforts on his first full Components E marketing campaign after making his debut within the second half of final season in Berlin.
“As a lot as I just like the DTM and as a lot as I’d have preferred to compete for an Audi buyer group, we determined collectively that I’ll solely consider Components E in 2021,” the 34-year-old ran.de.
Rast additionally cited potential clashes between the DTM and Components E for his determination. Though Components E is but to difficulty its full calendar, Motorsport.com understands that at the very least two rounds between Components E and the DTM might overlap, whereas potential adjustments as a result of ongoing pandemic might additional complicate issues.
“Right here, too, the calendar continues to be unsure as a result of pandemic, and as well as, the sequence has now taken on extra significance because the official world championship,” stated Rast. “That is why I need to play it secure. “That is why I need to play it secure there.”
Had Rast determined to compete within the DTM this 12 months, he would have probably moved to the Abt Sportsline squad that gained final 12 months’s groups’ title.
However with the German driver prioritising Components E, Muller is now more likely to stay with the Abt outfit he has competed for since 2016 – though an official affirmation relating to his group is but to be made.
Abt has already introduced a two-car Audi R8 LMS assault for the DTM’s first 12 months underneath GT3 rules, persevering with its long-standing relationship with the Ingolstadt-based marque.