Sheldon van der Linde won his third DTM race of the season on Saturday, behind the wheel of his #31 M4 GT3 entered by Schubert Motorsport. The win was especially poignant as Sheldon was joined on the podium by his brother Kelvin, who finished second in the #3 Audi. It was the first ever one-two finish for a brother pairing in DTM history.
Van der Linde had some help in securing the win. Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti was battling with Ferrari driver Felipe Fraga and the two had contact, which spun Fraga and led to a penalty for Bortolotti. Van der Linde was in third at the time of the incident, which moved him into the lead with brother Kelvin behind him in second.
The win at the Nürburgring put Van der Linde into the points lead, which he had held earlier in the year. “I am absolutely speechless,” he said after the race. “That has always been our common goal, being together on the podium one day. Today, this dream came true.” BMW drivers Philipp Eng and Marco Wittmann also had top ten finishes on Saturday, with Eng in sixth and Wittmann in eighth.
BMW drivers didn’t fare quite as well in the second race on Sunday. Van der Linde qualified on the pole, with brother Kelvin just one hundredth of a second behind in second. DTM racing is nothing if not close, as the top twenty cars qualified within around three-tenths of a second of each other. Philipp Eng initially moved up into second behind Van der Linde, but both BMWs were shuffled back in the order after a caution period. Van der Linde had the best finish of the BMW drivers in ninth, which allowed him to hold onto the points lead, and Marco Wittmann was in tenth. The race was won by Luca Stolz in his Mercedes.
Another notable bit of BMW news from the Nürburgring was that 17-year-old Theo Oeverhaus became the youngest driver to ever compete in a DTM race, as he drove an M4 GT3 for Walkenhorst Motorsport. He finished nineteenth in both races (out of 28 cars). Oeverhaus’ usual drive is in the DTM Trophy series in a Walkenhorst-entered M4 GT4, where he is currently fourth in driver points.
The next two rounds of the DTM championship take place at the Spa-Franchorchamps circuit in Belgium on the weekend of September 9th-11th. —David Haueter
[Photos courtesy of DTM]