The jubilation was particularly great for van der Linde because the 23-year-old had a real horror season behind him. For the proven GT specialist, pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong at Rowe in 2021 in the old M6. Despite his expertise, he didn’t even make it onto the podium. The satisfaction was all the greater after his second victory in the traditional racing series, his first victory was in 2019 in the old BMW Class 1 car.
“I have no words”
“I have no words,” said van der Linde after the award ceremony. “We can celebrate now, it took a long time. We’re enjoying it, but we still have a job to do on Sunday. And if we can do it, we’ll be up there again.”
The decision was made early on, when van der Linde, starting from second on the grid, outdid pole setter Lucas Auer at the flying start and cleverly exploited the top speed of the BMW. After the pit stop, van der Linde stayed just in front and didn’t let his success be taken away from him.
Auer took the lead in the overall standings with his third place, the nephew of DTM boss Gerhard Berger now has 44 points and replaces Mirko Bortolotti, who finished sixth in the Grasser-Lamborghini and has 43 points. “In the end you have to take the good days with you, and we didn’t do that. That hurts in a field like this,” Auer was still not satisfied.
DTM Lausitzring – 1st race
2. Luca Stolz (Brachbach) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +3.590 sec.
3. Lucas Auer (Austria) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +5.427
4. Arjun Maini (India) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +7.752
5. Maro Engel (Munich) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +9.142
6. Mirko Bortolotti (Italy) – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 +13.654
7. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) – Porsche 911 GT3 R +17.577
8. Rene Rast (Minden) – Audi R8 GT3 +19.056
9. Nick Cassidy (New Zealand) – Ferrari +19.303
10. Maximilian Goetz (Uffenheim) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +21.425
Standing after 3 of 16 races
2. Mirko Bortolotti (Italy) – Lamborghini 43
3. Sheldon van der Linde (South Africa) – BMW 38
4. Luca Stolz (Brachbach) – Mercedes-Benz 37
5. Nico Müller (Switzerland) – Audi 28
6. Felipe Fraga (Brazil) – Ferrari 20
7. Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa) – Audi 20
8. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) – Porsche 16
9. Maro Engel (Munich) – Mercedes 13
10. Arjun Maini (India) – Mercedes-Benz 12
1. Mercedes 107 points
2. Audi 66
3. BMW 51
4. Lamborghini 46
5. Porsche 28
6. Ferrari 23