BMW have announced the final driver to its DTM Series line up for 2019.
Sheldon van der Linde is set to become the first South African to have raced in the DTM since the series launched 35 years ago.
The South African took part in the Young Driver Test in mid-December and impressed during his outing.
“It is great to have another talented youngster in our team. Sheldon made a fantastic impression at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM at the Young Driver Test in mid-December,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Prior to that, we had been following his career in GT racing very carefully. Sheldon’s speed and versatility make him the perfect addition to our BMW M Motorsport programme. I am confident that he will find his feet very quickly in the DTM.”
Van der Linde will be just 45 days older than Joel Eriksson was when he debuted last season – reinforcing BMW’s focus on young talent.
The South African, said: “The Young Driver Test in the BMW M4 DTM was already a dream come true for me. To now have a place in the team for 2019 is incredible.
“I’m very proud to be continuing a family tradition from my father with such a famous car manufacturer, and one that is also very popular back home – and to be the first South African ever in the DTM. Ultimately, a big thank you to BMW Motorsport for the trust.”
Van der Linde started his racing career at six in karting, having caught the racing bug from his family.
His grandfather was a successful touring car driver winning many titles in South Africa whilst his father tasted success with BMW touring cars in South Africa and Europe.
His uncle also raced in various national and international series.
After a successful years in various European championships such as Audi TT Cup, GT3, ADAC GT Masters he was rewarded with a seat with BMW in the DTM Young Driver Test.
Impressing during the outing meant van der Linde was picked for the seat vacated by Augusto Farfus.
This means BMW has finalised their line up for 2019. Van der Linde joins BMW Team RBM with Philipp Eng and Joel Eriksson. Bruno Spengler moves to BMW Team RMG alongside Marco Wittmann and Timo Glock.
Round one of the year gets underway at Hockenheim on 3-5 May.