During the last week, Audi GT3 driver, Kelvin van der Linde got his first real taste of the professional DTM environment.
Spread out over 4 days, Audi gave four young drivers the chance to test the latest version of the Audi RS5 DTM at the famous Jerez circuit in Spain.
— Audi Sport (@audisport) December 3, 2016
Kelvin had the great opportunity to test the RS5 DTM for a full day and ran in perfect conditions during the day. Former GT Masters team-mate, Rene Rast, was on duty as Kelvin’s reference driver during the day, “Rene was a big help during my first DTM test. We have always had a very open and honest relationship and nothing has changed. We spent a lot of time analysing data together and also watching trackside.”
By the end of his first DTM test, Kelvin had completed 130 laps and over 550km in just a single day. Kelvin was ecstatic about his first day in the RS5 DTM.
“Today truly was a dream come true for me. It has been a dream for me since I started this motorsport journey 10 years ago. I would like to thank Audi Sport for this amazing opportunity, and I hope to be back in the car very soon!”
Going to the test, Kelvin was very openminded and did not place any high expectations on himself, “The test was a chance for me to firstly experience the high level of engineering in the latest DTM car, but also to learn as much as possible in a professional working environment. I just wanted to go out there and enjoy myself for the last time before the long winter break.”
Having already committed to another season as a full-time GT3 driver within Audi’s Customer Racing Programme, Kelvin knew that the test was purely a taste of what is possible in the future instead of a shootout for a 2017 DTM seat.
“I had already signed my 2017 GT3 deal prior to the test, and knew that for at least one more season, my future lay in GT3 racing. I still have a lot that I want to achieve in GT3 and some big races on my bucket list. My 2017 deal gave me the chance to pursue those dreams.”
The infamous winter break is now into full swing with the first real European race series only regrouping for pre-season testing during the month of March. To keep himself busy during this time, Kelvin has signed up for his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon, taking place at the end of January.