First wide awake, then fully focused and at the end impressively: Sheldon van der Linde has won the DTM race at DEKRA Lausitzring Turn 1 powered by Autohero.
For the South African, who races for the Schubert Motorsport team, it was his second win in DTM and the first for the new BMW M4 in the anniversary year of the Bavarian manufacturer, which will celebrate 50 years of BMW M in 2022. Luca Stolz (GER) took second in the HRT Mercedes-AMG of Lucas Auer (AUT) in the WINWARD Mercedes-AMG and India’s Arjun Maini in the second HRT Mercedes-AMG. Maro Engel (GER, GruppeM Mercedes-AMG) finished fifth.
As a result, Austrian Auer takes the lead in the drivers’ standings with 44 points from Mirko Bortolotti (ITA/GRT Lamborghini), who has one point less on his counter. With 38 points, Sheldon van der Linde follows in third, the driver also secured the Autohero Fastest Lap Award and thus an extra championship point on Saturday.
For Van der Linde, whose older brother Kelvin (ABT Audi) was one of the nine drivers who failed to finish the race, an absolute rocket start was the key to victory. In the acceleration duel towards Turn 1, the BMW driver beat Auer, who started from pole position and defended his first place impressively until the finish. “I couldn’t do anything against Sheldon. Unfortunately, our pit stop wasn’t perfect either,” Auer summed up. Van der Linde, meanwhile, was overjoyed: “Last year was very tough for me, I often didn’t even make it to the finish. To win again now, two years after my first win in the DTM race, is of course fantastic.”
The numerous spectators on the track saw plenty of racing action with exciting duels, especially behind the leader, the full field battling wheel to wheel over and over again. Especially the sloping corner of Turn 1, where the DTM stars rush through at almost 250 km/h, often provided spectacular images. Championship leader after the season opening weekend in Portimão, Mirko Bortolotti, scored valuable points by finishing sixth. Behind him, Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) was classified with the best placed Porsche (SSR Performance) of René Rast (GER) with the best ABT Sportsline Audi and AlphaTauri AF Corse Ferrari driver Nick Cassidy (NZL). Last year’s champion Maximilian Götz (GER/WINWARD Mercedes-AMG) still scored one point by finishing tenth.
Second placed Luca Stolz is already looking forward to the next race at Lausitzring Turn 1 powered by Autohero on Sunday: “There were still two AMG drivers who were faster than me in qualifying, I would like to change that on Sunday. ” Good for the fans: the remaining 28 drivers also want to improve compared to Saturday, so action in the DTM is also guaranteed on Sunday (start at 1.30 pm CEST, live on ProSieben from 1 pm).