PressClub Global · Article.
Podium! René Rast secures a reconciliatory conclusion to the DTM season with a third-place finish at Hockenheim.
22.10.2023 Press Release
The 2023 DTM season came to a close at the Hockenheimring (GER), with an impressive crowd of 88,000 spectators. René Rast (GER) treated fans to a remarkable comeback in the Sunday race, climbing from 23rd on the grid to secure a third-place finish. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) wrapped up his last DTM race for now with the number 1 finishing in fourth place.
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Hockenheim. The 2023 DTM season came to a close at the Hockenheimring (GER), with an impressive crowd of 88,000 spectators. René Rast (GER) treated fans to a remarkable comeback in the Sunday race, climbing from 23rd on the grid to secure a third-place finish. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) wrapped up his last DTM race for now with the number 1 finishing in fourth place. He had already congratulated his successor, Thomas Preining (AUT, Porsche), for his title win after the qualifying session. Marco Wittmann (GER) concluded a disappointing for him season with ninth and 17th-place finishes in the two Hockenheim races.
Schubert Motorsport managed to secure two season wins and a total of eight podium finishes after 16 races. Van der Linde finished the season in fourth place in the driver standings with 151 points, closely followed by Rast in fifth place with 140 points. This was a remarkable performance for Rast in his first season as a BMW M works driver, especially considering he missed the race weekend at Zandvoort (NED) due to a scheduling conflict. Schubert Motorsport finished fourth in the team standings, and Wittmann concluded his eleventh DTM season in 13th place in the overall rankings.
From BMW M Motorsport's perspective, the highlights of the year were the race weekends at the Norisring (GER) and the Red Bull Ring (AUT). Van der Linde secured his only season win at the city race in Nürnberg (GER) and finished third in the second race. Rast achieved his first podium finishes as a BMW M works driver by securing second place in both races. He celebrated his first victory in the BMW M4 GT3 at Spielberg (AUT), where van der Linde sealed a one-two victory for Schubert Motorsport on Sunday. Unfortunately, Wittmann missed out on a podium finish in the 2023 season. He finished fourth in the Sunday races at Zandvoort (NED) and Spielberg as part of the new Project 1 team.
Reactions on the DTM season finale:
Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “The final race of the DTM season in front of this fantastic crowd at Hockenheim ended on a positive note with third and fourth places for René Rast and Sheldon van der Linde. René’s comeback from 23rd place to third was truly impressive! Overall, we cannot be satisfied with our performance in the DTM this time. When you start the year as the defending champion in the driver and team standings, you naturally want to repeat that success. In the 2023 season, we didn't manage to show consistent performance at all race weekends for various reasons with the BMW M4 GT3. I would like to thank our drivers, teams, and all BMW M Motorsport employees involved in the DTM project. Congratulations to Thomas Preining, Manthey EMA Racing, and Porsche Motorsport on their well-deserved titles!”
René Rast (#33 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “This podium finish at the end is a huge surprise for me. To climb from 23rd to third in the DTM is usually impossible, but I got lucky, was in the right place at the right time, and managed to gain ten places in the first few laps. After that, my pace was very good, and with the late pit stop, which was absolutely great with a time of 5.9 seconds, I executed the overcut to reach the top. I am very happy with fifth place in the driver standings in my first year with BMW M Motorsport, especially considering I had to skip a weekend. It wasn't easy at the beginning to adjust to a new car and a new team, but overall, it went really well.”
Sheldon van der Linde (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “Both the race and the entire season were bittersweet for me. A podium was still within reach at the end, but unfortunately, it didn't quite happen. Overall, this year, we didn't always maximise our potential, even though the team did a great job. Congratulations to Thomas Preining on winning the title! He had a fantastic season.”
Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Project 1): “This was my worst DTM season in eleven years, and I'm honestly glad it's over. It's extremely unfortunate that we couldn't show the fans and ourselves what we set out to achieve. We had two reasonably good race weekends at Zandvoort and Spielberg, but otherwise, we have to admit that as a new team in this high-calibre field, we were simply out of contention. Personally, this is very frustrating for me because I have higher expectations. I am now looking forward to the winter break. After that, we'll see what challenges await me in 2024.”