Cars

DTM: Van der Linde back at the top of the DTM

Kelvin van der Linde doesn’t really have time for big emotions. The title fight in the DTM is raging. It’s tight. It is fought with everything that goes with it, with hooks, eyes and all imaginable tricks. So full concentration is required. And distractions only get in the way.

But the fact that the parents from South Africa came to Hockenheim especially to support their son on the penultimate race weekend in the fight for the title apparently gives the 25-year-old an extra boost. Because after the last five difficult races in which he only scored 31 points, it was 28 on Saturday at Hockenheim – thanks to pole position and fourth win of the season. A double exclamation mark.

“Mum and dad aren’t here that often, especially in the past two or three years it has been difficult for them,” says Van der Linde – and then gets a little emotional. “It makes me all the more proud to give them a win. It was the long and big goal of my brother and me to make it into the DTM. We never had the background to aim for Formula 1. The DTM is something like the ultimate goal in my career. That’s why every win is very special. “

The successes are also special for his family. His grandfather Hennie was one of the most successful touring car drivers in South Africa. Papa Shaun was again the South Africa champion in touring and formula cars. Uncle Etienne used to drive Formula 3 and Formula 3000. Van der Linde has now regained the lead in the standings with 188 points and is tied with Liam Lawson at the top. The New Zealander finished fourth in the Ferrari and also has 188 points, but he has one win less than van der Linde.

Kelvin van der Linde

“It’s great to come back,” said van der Linde. “The team needed another result after the past few weeks. It will stay tight, we can’t sit back. It’s starting from scratch with Liam. ”In addition to his parents, the three-time champion Rene Rast is also in Hockenheim. Van der Linde’s buddy and mentor knows how to win titles. And how to keep your nerve when things are still tight with three races to go.

“Qualifying will be important again on Sunday,” says van der Linde: “We want to repeat Saturday’s success. It will not be easy.”

But it gets easier when the teammate helps. On Saturday, Mike Rockenfeller raced from position 17 on the podium in third place. Important: In the final lap the veteran passed Lawson with a tough maneuver, which was then not very happy. “My English is not that good. I think he congratulated me on the move, ”laughs Rockenfeller.

Behind the top duo, the other two title candidates are also on par. Maximilian Götz (HRT-Mercedes) had his sights on the podium for a long time in third place, lost third place to Rockenfeller and Lawson due to problems with the brakes and finished fourth. He has 165 points and is still fourth overall.

Saturday was bitter for Marco Wittmann. The two-time champion experienced poor qualifying in his BMW M6 GT3 and was unable to do anything from 13th on the grid. He gave up prematurely after 24 laps because of a damaged car, so he was left empty-handed and is still third overall with 165 points.

Hockenheim – DTM – 1st race

1. Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa) – Audi R8 LMS GT3 1: 01: 14.359 hours.
2. Alexander Albon (Thailand) – Ferrari 488 GT3 +5.886 sec.
3. Mike Rockenfeller (Landschlacht / Switzerland) – Audi R8 LMS GT3 +15.601
4. Liam Lawson (New Zealand) – Ferrari 488 GT3 +17,233
5. Maximilian Götz (Uffenheim) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +17.940
6. Esteban Muth (Belgium) – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 +18.779
7. Daniel Juncadella (Spain) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +19.966
8. Philip Ellis (Great Britain) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +21,119
9. Vincent Abril (France) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +28.817
10. Timo Glock (Thurgau / Switzerland) – BMW M6 GT3 +36,432
11. Marvin Dienst (Lampertheim) – Mercedes-AMG GT3 +39,674
12.Sophia Flörsch (Grünwald) – Audi R8 LMS GT3 +40.662

Driver standings after 13 of 16 races:

1. Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa) – Audi 188 pts.
2. Liam Lawson (New Zealand) – Ferrari 188
3. Marco Wittmann (Fürth) – BMW 165
4. Maximilian Götz (Uffenheim) – Mercedes 165
5. Alexander Albon (Thailand) – Ferrari 122
6. Philip Ellis (Great Britain) – Mercedes 113
7. Lucas Auer (Austria) – Mercedes 98
8. Mike Rockenfeller (Landschlacht / Switzerland) – Audi 77
9. Sheldon van der Linde (South Africa) – BMW 55
10. Nico Müller (Switzerland) – Audi 52

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