DTM

Van der Linde Becomes First South African to win a DTM race.

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Race Winner Sheldon van der Linde. Credit: BMW Motorsport

In a race that really was determined by tire choices, Sheldon van der Linde and his team made the right decisions which earnt him his first-ever DTM race win on Sunday 6th September in Round Four of the 2020 DTM Season.

After a dry qualifying session, the weather changed with heavy showers soaking the new asphalt at the Assen TT Circuit in the Netherlands. The conditions led to all teams opting for the wet Hanook tyres at the start. René Rast had qualified on pole but simply could not find the grip required for the start and fell back allowing yesterdays winner, Robin Frijns the chance to nose ahead along with Loïc Duval who took the lead from the first corner.

It didnt take long for Frijns replace Duval at the top which then led to some great battles in the wet for with Rast, Nico Müller and Timo Glock all fighting for second place.

A Very Wet Assen TT Circuit. Credit: Audi Motorsport

Van der Linde’s BMW RBM team opted for an early stop to put fresh rain tyres on which turned the tide in the 21 year old’s favour and allowed him to set the fastest time and take the lead.

Soon after that, there was a heart-stopping moment for the fans in the grandstands as rookie driver Fabio Scherer had a massive accident in the fast Ramshoek section. His WRT team had put on slick tyres on his Audi RS 5 DTM, a risk that proved to be too high in the conditions and ended his race with large sections of the car’s bodywork strewn across the track. The Swiss driver climbed out unhurt but the crash did lead to a red flag whilst marshalls cleaned up the mess.

Credit: Audi Motorsport

The rain again started to fall whilst the drivers crept around the track behind the safety car. Out in front, van der Linde made no mistakes and once the green flag was dropped, racing recommenced with less than ten minutes remaining, and he fircely defended his lead until the finish. Frijns and Müller tried everything but posed no threat to the BMW driver who finished over two and a half seconds ahead of Frijns and a further second ahead of Müller.

Van der Linde still cannot believe that he has won. “It’s incredible. We started from 14th on the grid and moved up into P1. To be honest, a dream came true today. We never would have expected it at the start. This shows that anything really can happen. The weather was really strange the whole weekend. We were able to get the maximum out of the race and my team had a fantastic strategy today. The car was amazing in the wet. I’m just really happy to have got my first DTM win. I think everyone at BMW more than deserves this. My team worked so hard for this. Thanks to everyone for this.”

DTM Assen Race 2 Results

DriverTeamTime/Gap
SHELDON VAN DER LINDEBMW TEAM RBM1:13:27.930
ROBIN FRIJNSAUDI SPORT TEAM ABT SPORTSLINE+2.621
NICO MÜLLERAUDI SPORT TEAM ABT SPORTSLINE+3.658
LOÏC DUVALAUDI SPORT TEAM PHOENIX+9.414
RENÉ RASTAUDI SPORT TEAM ROSBERG+9.455
TIMO GLOCKBMW TEAM RMG+9.870
FERDINAND HABSBURGWRT TEAM AUDI SPORT+11.048
MARCO WITTMANNBMW TEAM RMG+11.666
PHILIPP ENGBMW TEAM RBM+12.436
LUCAS AUERBMW TEAM RMR+13.033
MIKE ROCKENFELLERAUDI SPORT TEAM PHOENIX+14.015
JAMIE GREENAUDI SPORT TEAM ROSBERG+14.396
JONATHAN ABERDEINBMW TEAM RMR+17.018
ROBERT KUBICAORLEN TEAM ART+17.863
HARRISON NEWEYWRT TEAM AUDI SPORT1L
FABIO SCHERERWRT TEAM AUDI SPORTDNC

The next DTM race weekend will be over the weekend of September 11-13 at the Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit. Followed by the Nürburgring Sprint Circuit over the weekend of September 18-20.

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