Rene Rast will switch to a different car brand for the 2023 season.
The 35-year-old German racing driver has been racing in Audis since 2011, doing pretty much every series and car that they participate in.
But when 2022 is over, he will switch the four rings to another Bavarian car manufacturer – BMW.
Rast has been pretty much synonymous with the VW Audi Group throughout his career. He did however do Formula BMW in 2003 and 2004, before moving into Volkswagen Polo Cup, which he won in 2005. He finished runner-up in the Seat Leon Supercopa Germany in 2006, before moving into Porsche Cup cars from 2007 onwards. He won the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012, in addition to the German championship in 2008 and 2012.
Then it was time for Audi Sport, racing in ADAC GT Masters, which he won in 2014, in addition to the big 24 hours races at Nürburgring and Spa, which he won in 2014 and 2012 respectively, and the 24 hours race in Daytona in 2012 and 2016.
He did race the Audi LMP1 car at the 24 hours of Le Mans a single time, but didn’t finish on the podium that year. Audi closed down that programme, so he was moved into the DTM series, where he actually made his debut, when subbing for Mattias Ekström, who has a clashing World Rallycross commitment. Rast impressed everybody that weekend, so he got a full-season seat for 2017. He absolutely dominated that series, claiming the title in convincing style in 2017, 2019 and 2020, and then it wasn’t actually fun to watch anymore. But you probably can’t blame him for the series moving from Class 1 to GT3 from 2021 onwards, but his dominance didn’t make things better for the previous iteration of the series.
So Rast was sent to Formula E, where Audi all of a sudden needed a driver, after Daniel Abt no longer would race for the family team. So he did one and a half seasons there, before Audi pulled out at the end of the 2020/21 season.
The Audi interest in sportscars and Le Mans started again, and he was chosen for their new LMDh programme during winter 2021. But “Lange Naase” as the Germans says – they closed the programme, shortly before the first test of the actual car. So 2022 has been DTM and more GT3 racing for the German, who wants to fulfil new goals at BMW.
Rast was put on the course of the LMDh programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship with WRT, where they currently race together in the LMP2 category, with the Belgium outfit being just as surprised, when the plug was pulled on that programme.
BMW has an upcoming LMDh programme for the FIA World Endurance Championship, and WRT was announced as a partner for that, a few weeks ago. Rast and WRT have raced numerous GT3 races together, so he is a shoo-in when they enter the FIA WEC in 2024. BMW already starts racing in the USA in 2023, where Rahal Letterman Lanigan will run the car.
The exact tasks for BMW in 2023 are still not announced for Rene Rast – but don’t be surprised to see him at the 24 hours races at Nürburgring and Spa Francorchamps.