Van der Linde storms to a Lausitzring DTM double

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Van der Linde holds off Engel for the win. Photo Credit: DTM

Sheldon van der Linde takes the DTM championship lead after winning his second race in succession.

The Schubert Motorsport driver led the race from pole to the flag, a pole that came in a chaotic qualifying session, which sprung to life following a red flag caused by Felipe Fraga’s Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse becoming engulfed in flames.

On the restart with only four minutes left in the session, drivers were rushed to set their fastest lap attempts. Van der Linde aced the final sector to grab the advantage and a front-row start.

At the race start, a fast-starting Mirko Bortolotti forced Maro Engel onto the grass. On re-joining Engel came right out in front of the Grasser Racing driver and forced him to slam on the brakes. This scrap allowed Van der Linde to build up a comfortable buffer in the opening laps.

Engel was investigated for gaining an advantage after leaving and re-joining the track on lap one as a result of his battle with Bortolotti. However, no further action was the decision taken by the stewards.

Lausitzring grandstands. Photo Credit: DTM

The GruppeM racing man was the first to make his mandatory pit stop on lap nine. Van der Linde, René Rast, and Bortolotti then followed into the pits a lap later.

Rast momentarily undercut Engel as he re-joined. But the three-time DTM champion couldn’t hold off Engel on cold tyres, as the Mercedes driver took second place back around the outside into turn two.

The best moments of wheel-to-wheel racing came from Mirko Bortolotti and Nico Müller. The two drivers passed and repassed each other over a short sequence of corners. With Bortolotti’s front bumper looking a little worse for wear after the battle.

Back at the front, regulations required that a success ballast of 25 kg was added to Van der Linde’s car after his race one win. Despite this, he impressively held off Maro Engel to sweep the Lausitzring races and take the championship lead on 66 points.

DTM heads to the famous Imola circuit for the next round of the series from 17-19 June.

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