Rast takes dominant Sunday victory in action-packed Zolder thriller
Audi’s René Rast earned a second win of the 2019 season with a commanding drive to victory at Zolder, as the field behind him enjoyed a thrilling race-long battle around the sweeps and chicanes of Belgium’s classic Zolder circuit.
Rene Rast made it look easy on Sunday after overtaking Sheldon van der Linde to win his second race of the season
Retirement on Saturday, victory on Sunday has become Rast’s modus operandi so far in 2019. But, unlike Hockenheim, where the German made best use of a canny strategy and a concerted push past other cars to claim the victory, his win on Sunday was relatively straightforward.
He passed BMW rookie Sheldon van der Linde with a decisive move into Turn One on lap 11 to assume the lead, then retained it after the round of mid-race pit-stops to comfortably lead the field home.
Saturday’s race winner Philipp Eng picked up another podium in Belgium, coming home second after another punchy race to end the weekend as the new championship leader.
Philipp Eng’s victory on Saturday and runner-up on moved the Austrian to the top of the championship table
After a frenetic battle on the very last lap, Jamie Green compounded Team Rosberg’s fortuned by claiming third place, his first podium finish since the 2017 season finale at Hockenheim.
Mike Rockenfeller made it three Audis in the top four despite a wild moment on the final lap which saw him skating across the grass in a spirited lunge to pass Green.
Pole-sitter Sheldon van der Linde once again demonstrated his potential, and looked on course for a much deserved podium finish, but with his tyres wilting, he had little left in his pocket to defend against the fresher rubber of both Green and Rockenfeller. He finished a disappointing – although still worthy – fifth.
Jake Dennis finally brought home points for R-Motorsport Aston Martin with a sixth-place finish. The Briton briefly led the race during the pit-stops, and was a deserved scorer after several strong showings this year. Bruno Spengler, Nico Müller, Pietro Fittipaldi and Joel Eriksson rounded out the top 10 after a wild ride throughout Sunday afternoon.
The Safety Car cut the race in half from laps 22 to 26 – albeit fortunately without the game-changing effect that was seen in Saturday’s race. It was prompted by a Turn One incident between Marco Wittmann and Robin Frijns, the Dutchman being pitched into a spin which left his Audi beached on the grass. Wittmann was given a drive-through penalty for the misdemeanour.
Fifth position for Sheldon van der Linde (31) was little reward after a strong showing all weekend for the South African Check out the results