Premiere in California: From October 14 to 15, the California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca are on the calendar of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the only global GT racing series, for the first time. Following its victory at the 24 Hours of Spa in July […]
Going into the final GT Masters race weekend of the year at Hockenheim, Kelvin van der Linde still had a realistic chance of securing his second GT Masters crown at just 21 years of age. The South African born and German resident, together with team […]
The Audi pairing of Kelvin van der Linde (21, ZA) and Markus Pommer (26, DEU) took the win in Sunday’s ADAC GT Masters race at the Nürburgring and thereby also secured a maiden victory in the GT Masters for Aust Motorsport. Nick Catsburg (29, NL) and Philipp Eng (27, AUT, both BMW Team Schnitzer) in the BMW M6 took second place ahead of Jeffrey Schmidt (23, CH) and Christopher Haase (29, DEU, both Montaplast by Land Motorsport) in another of the Audi R8s.
Pole-sitter Philipp Eng led the first stint of the race at the Nürburgring, closely followed by Sven Muller’s Porsche and Kelvin van der Linde’s Audi. The BMW driver defended his lead at the start and stayed out ahead until he handed the car over to his partner, Nick Catsburg. Van der Linde was able to stay out an extra two laps while the Porsche of Sven Muller entered the box for his mandatory stop. The race was decided during and after the round of pit stops when Van der Linde closely followed Eng into the pits.
Catsburg exited the pit lane side by side with Pommer and initially retained the lead, but the race stewards thought that the BMW driver’s move constituted ‘unsafe release’ and directed that positions should be exchanged. So Pommer went into P1 and began to draw away until the safety car came out yet again. After the restart, the BMW man was unable to match Pommer’s lap times. The Audi driver eventually took his maiden victory in the ADAC GT Masters by a margin of 4.5 seconds. This success in the ADAC GT Masters marked the end of a long winning drought for Pommer’s team-mate, Kelvin van der Linde. The last win for the 2014 champion came at the Sachsenring in 2015.
“Its been a long time away from the top step, I haven’t really had the circumstances to win races on a regular basis in 2016. From the beginning of this season, I realised that our package was really strong. We developed each race and already came close to the first win in Zandvoort. this time the strategy played out just right and we were able to secure Aust’s first win in the GT Masters,” says a jubilated Van der Linde.
The race win now sees Van der Linde and Pommer jump to 3rd in the Overall standings, just 8 points behind Phillip Eng in 2nd and 46 points behind Jules Gounon with 100 point still up for grabs in the remaining 2 rounds of the season at Sachsenring and Hockenheim.
During the past weekend, Kelvin van der Linde secured a respectable top-10 finish at the latest edition of the Spa 24 Hours along with his Audi Sport team mates, Pierre Kaffer and frank Stippler. The weekend got off to a steady start after Qualifying for […]
Audi Sport customer racing in Belgium with four factory-supported Audi R8 LMS cars Fourth overall victory in the crosshairs A total of ten Audi R8 LMS competing at the 24-hour race Ingolstadt, June 15, 2017 – The Audi Sport customer racing driver line-up for Spa […]
On May 28, Audi won the Nürburgring 24 Hours for the fourth time. The background and the facts on the victory in the Eifel.
Fourth victory in five calendar years: After 2012, 2014 and 2015, the overall victory in 2017 once again went to the Audi R8 LMS. This makes the race car from Audi Sport customer racing the most successful sports car since 2012, at which time the […]
Round 3 of the Australian GT Championship at Barbagallo Raceway marked another important step in the 2017 Australian GT title race for Kelvin van der Linde and Geoff Emery, as the pair leave Barbagallo Raceway second in the drivers Championship. After a closely contested Qualifying on […]
Despite a slow start to the weekend. Audi Sport Team Land managed to secure the all important blue light and an automatic spot in the Top 30 shootout for next months famous 24H Nurburgring!
Car #28 was shared by Kelvin van der Linde, Pierre Kaffer and Christopher Mies. After suffering an engine failure during the Night Qualifying session on Saturday, the team was slightly on the back foot going into the race.
“It was a bit of a setback to miss out on the end of night qualifying because it was my first chance to really experience driving at night at the Green Hell. The plan was to get a long run in during the darker hours and also do some more test points with the updated Michelin tire we received for the weekend,” explained Kelvin.
The mechanics from Audi Sport team Land, worked overnight to complete the engine change in time for the 1 hour qualifying the next morning. By the end of the Qualifying session, the #28 Audi R8 LMS of van der Linde, Mies and Kaffer ended in 24th position.
An inspired drive from all the drivers and a near perfect pitstop strategy allowed the #28 Audi to climb to 3rd position in the dying stages of the race. A slow final stop, however, meant that the team had to settle for a well-deserved 4th position at the end of the 6-hour race, a result that was not envisioned on Saturday night.
Kelvin was full of praise towards the team after the race, “It was a great comeback from everybody involved. The mechanics worked overnight to make this result possible. We never gave up and were rewarded with the blue light and Top 30 Shootout slot for the 24H in 4 weeks time! I hope we can carry this momentum forward and bring home the big trophy, come race weekend at the end of May.”
Started p24, finnished p4! Great weekend. Blue light secured. Thanks team. Bring on the 24H in 1 month! pic.twitter.com/4FCXuDdjSz
— Kelvin van der Linde (@KelvinvdLinde) April 24, 2017