Rene Rast says he's 'proud' of himself and Audi after coming to within just four points of successfully defending his 2017 DTM crown following a sensational second half of the season.

Rast and Audi looked down and out of the 2018 title race earlier in the year after the Team Rosberg driver found himself 104 points adrift of the championship summit nine races into the season.

However, having secured his first win of the season during the second race at Zandvoort, Rast went on to enjoy a magnificent run of form, which saw the reigning champion finish off the podium on just two further occasions in the second half of the 2018.

That run ultimately culminated in Rast making DTM history after the 31-year old took a record breaking six victories on the bounce, including the two he scored during this weekend's Hockenheim finale.

Incredibly, that elevated him above Mercedes' Paul di Resta up to second in the drivers' table and just four points shy of eventual champion Gary Paffett.

“What an incredible year, what a comeback! I’m very proud of Audi Sport, Team Rosberg and of myself, too," said Rast.

"We had a tough start to the season, but never gave up, kept improving the car and also made progress in terms of strategy. All of the Audi drivers worked together fantastically as a team.

"Only by doing so, was it possible to keep the title dream open up until the end. Ultimately, it wasn’t quite enough. That’s a little bit of a shame, but Gary (Paffett) and Mercedes-Benz deserved to win. They were strong throughout the whole year.”