It’s official – Patric Niederhauser (27, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde (23, ZA, both HCB-Rutronik Racing) have wrapped up the ADAC GT Masters drivers’ championship at Hockenheim with a second victory of the campaign, and with two races to spare. The Swiss-South African pairing […]
Last weekend, the opening event of the ADAC GT Masters season took place in Oschersleben. In changeable weather, with a record fan attendance, HCB-Rutronik Racing made its race debut in the series and impressed with a podium finish in the first race.
South African Kelvin van der Linde and the Swiss Patric Niederhauser drove the number 31 Audi , while the German duo Dennis Marschall and Carrie Schreiner shared the steering wheel of car number 8.
The excitement of the first qualifying session was increased by several crashes and red flag interventions, out of which Patric Niederhauser emerged an outstanding 3rd.
Niederhauser and van der Linde confirmed that their qualifying performance was no fluke, and came home a fantastic 2nd position in a rain thriller, the first podium placement for the new team on their debut.
Sunday’s second qualifying took place in wet conditions, where van der Linde was able to secure 8th position on the grid for race 2.
Race 2 once again offered the fans GT racing at the highest level, in which the HCB-Rutronik Racing Audi with start number 31 just missed out on a second podium finish. Regardless, the team was happy with the large string of points despite having to do Race 2 with 20kg of success ballast which was put into the car after the Saturday race.
The team now heads to Most currently second in the Drivers Championship, as well as in the teams championship, something nobody could have expected before the race weekend.
Team boss Fabian Plentz:
“It was an absolutely emotional weekend for us. We’ve been preparing for the season opener for so long and then celebrating it with a podium finish was just awesome. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our drivers and the entire team. Everyone did a flawless job. The level of the Championship is extremely high, which makes it particularly important to work meticulously for the entire weekend. I’m really proud of my team and look forward to the rest of the season! “
The next round of the ADAC GT Masters will take place in two weeks, from 17.-19. May in the Most.
It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks, so here’s a quick update on what’s been happening. My ADAC GT Masters program was announced, where I will be driving for HCB-Rutronik Racing alongside a good friend and someone I rate very highly, Patric Niederhauser. It’s […]
Audi Sport customer racing holds a record in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the world’s most prestigious GT3 racing series. The Audi R8 LMS has been unbeaten to date in the California 8 Hours in the United States. Following two straight victories, Audi is now aiming […]
January has been a busy month so far for Kelvin, having been contracted for the 24H of Dubai, 24H of Daytona and the Bathurst 12 Hour.
The new season already got going very early this year with the first test before the 24H of Daytona which already took place during the first week of January. Directly from there Kelvin flew to the 24H of Dubai where he and his team showed fantastic pace early on, running as high as 2nd place in Hour 8 before the team was forced to retire with some technical issues.
Despite the early disappointment, Kelvin remained positive heading towards Daytona and Bathurst at the end of the month:
“It was disappointing not to make the finish in Dubai, but the car speed was there and it was a good warmup for me going into two of the biggest races we have during the season. Bathurst and Daytona rank right up there with 24H Spa and 24H Nurburgring as the 4 classic events we get to do each year. The goal will be to make the most of both race weekends, where I definitely have the team and team mates that can help me fight for the win.”
The Rolex 24H of Daytona takes place from 25-27 January, with the Bathurst 12H kicking off the weekend after.
24H Daytona Line-up:
K. van der Linde, F. Vervisch, I. James, R. de Angelis. (Audi Sport Team Canada WRT Speedstar)
Bathurst 12H Line-up:
K. van der Linde, F. Vervisch, G. Tander. (Audi Sport Team Valvoline)
Spectacular finale at the fourth and final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC): At Laguna Seca/USA, Audi Sport customer racing turned a nine-point deficit into an 11-point advantage to secure the title in the manufacturers’ classification for the third consecutive time. This was thanks […]
The Audi Sport Team Absolute Racing celebrated a superb podium in the Suzuka 10 Hours this passed weekend. Audi Sport drivers Christopher Haase/Kelvin van der Linde/Markus Winkelhock brought their #6 Audi R8 LMS home in third place after the ten hour-long race. The 47th running […]
Audi Sport customer racing took third place on the podium in the overall classification in the 70th running of the Spa 24 Hours. The brothers Sheldon and Kelvin van der Linde finished third together with Jeffrey Schmidt.
A change to the performance categorization on race day left Audi with virtually no chance in the battle for race victory in the Ardennes. Many caution periods also caused significant changes in the classification.
With 13 brands on the grid, the anniversary edition of the Spa 24 Hours promised to be a classic. After four wins since 2011, Audi Sport customer racing aimed to clinch its fifth overall victory. “Unfortunately it just wasn’t quite enough this year,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “A couple of hours before the start we had to load 15 kilograms of ballast weight into all the cars. Although we were able to set a few quick lap times, we were unable to fight for victory over the distance. Then in the end two BMW won from two Audi and two Mercedes-AMG.”
When asked about his first Spa 24H podium, Kelvin van der Linde replied, “It has been a rollercoaster race once again in 2018. This race isn’t won until the last lap of the race. We showed great pace all race and both my team mates did a super job. Luck didnt always fall our way during the Full Course Yellow scenarios but despite that we never gave up and fought back to 3rd on the podium! I want to thank Montaplast by Land Motorsport for once again trusting in my services and also for allowing me and my brother to share a cockpit for the second big race of 2018, after the 24H of Nurburgring.”
In the 46th running of the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the Eifel region revealed itself at its worst: Audi Sport customer racing had traveled to the world’s biggest automobile race as title defenders, but together with its customer teams suffered some bitter setbacks in the battle […]