Rast to make DTM return with ABT Sportsline

Three-time DTM champion René Rast will return to the championship for 2022 as a teammate to Kelvin van der Linde at ABT Sportsline.

ABT Sportsline has confirmed its second driver in the form of Rast, DTM’s most successful Audi driver.

He secured three championships in 2017, 2019 and 2020 before taking a year out in Audi’s now-defunct Formula E program.

The 35-year-old will partner Kelvin van der Linde as teammates.

Each will pilot the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo 2 package, Rast in the #33 and Linde in the #3.

“I am really happy to be back in DTM after a one-year break,” said Rast.

“I have never lost my appetite for DTM. Audi wanted me to fully focus on Formula E in the past season. I attended some DTM rounds on site and I really liked what I saw.

“The ABT Sportsline team is relying on a proven, well-practiced crew in DTM.

“With ABT in DTM, I will almost have the same crew as in Formula E.

“My engineer remains the same and it is likewise for my chief mechanic and some mechanics.

“We are a super practiced team. Continuing to work together simply made sense.”

Rast’s DTM return will have drivers looking over their shoulder

His DTM racing record includes 24 race wins, 20 poles and 14 fastest laps during the ‘Class 1’ generation of cars where he drove the Audi RS5 DTM.

It will be his first time during the new age of GT3 regulations, and the second season for the new era.

ABT CEO and Team Principal Thomas Biermaier explained the process to bring Rast back into the championship with high aspirations.

“We already started approaching René at an early stage.

“We know his strengths as a rival in DTM.

“In Formula E, we got to know and appreciate him even better last season.

“We are extremely grateful to his management led by Dennis Rostek and to Audi Sport that it has worked out and that we can enter the battle for the 2022 title with a genuine dream team.”

The 2022 season is approaching with official test days at Hockenheim on 5 and 6 April, and further test days at Portimão on 26 and 27 April.