23-YEAR-OLD SHELDON VAN DER LINDE IS THE 1ST-EVER DTM CHAMPION FROM SOUTH AFRICA
This past Saturday South African racer Sheldon van der Linde, who is just 19-years-old clinched the 2022 DTM season championship a day after his Schubert Motorsport team secured the team title. In a hard drought race and season, the young driver managed to put in some absolutely amazing driving with skill and composure well beyond his years. Not only was it the first DTM win for a South African driver, it was the first win for BMW since 2016. During Saturday’s session he managed to move from 16th position up to 2nd, and on the Sunday he started from 5th spot and played a faultless game, moving up to take the 3rd podium spot and his 164 points that put him 11 points above Mercedes driver Lucas Auer who had to settle for the second spot.
POST RACE COMMENTS
Sheldon van der Linde - #31 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport: “Right now, it is impossible for me to describe my emotions. There are a million thoughts going through my head. I had a few sleepless nights this week. I have to admit that the pressure of going into this weekend as championship leader was massive. It feels fantastic now that this weight is off my shoulders. Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of driving in the DTM. I am unbelievably proud and delighted now that I have won it. Growing up in South Africa, making the leap to the DTM seemed a very long way away. But now it has all worked out - I can barely believe it!”
Franciscus van Meel - CEO BMW M GmbH: “What a superb day for the entire BMW M Motorsport family! Congratulations to Sheldon van der Linde and Schubert for winning the team and drivers’ championships! Everyone involved – the team, the drivers and the car – delivered fantastic performances throughout the season and deserved this triumph. It is a very emotional day for us all. Even more so, as Marco Wittmann also managed to win the final race. Seeing him and Sheldon celebrating together like that on the podium shows how well everyone gets on in the BMW M Motorsport family. Now we can celebrate!”
Andreas Roos - Head of BMW M Motorsport: “Unbelievable, incredible, epic! It is just fantastic to see what Schubert Motorsport, our drivers and the BMW M4 GT3 have achieved together this year. Huge congrats to Sheldon van der Linde for his great performance this season. Many congratulations are in order for the team led by Torsten Schubert and for our BMW M Motorsport employees at home as well. In its first year, BMW M4 GT3 showed just what a powerful car it is. I am delighted for everyone involved in this project. I am particularly pleased that Marco Wittmann was able to round off a personally disappointing season with a highlight. Third place on Saturday, victory on Sunday - these results are sure to give him a lift when preparing for the 2023 season.”
Marco Wittmann - #11 BMW M4 GT3 - Walkenhorst Motorsport - Podium 1st: “Firstly, congratulations to Sheldon and the Schubert team for winning the team and drivers’ titles. They had a fantastic season that they can really be proud of. Both titles are very well-deserved. From my point of view, it is an unbelievably good feeling to end the season like this. It was a hard year for the team and for me. Some weekends, it was tough to see that we just didn’t have the performance. That’s why it was all the more important for everyone in the team to finish the season on a successful note and hopefully we can take this momentum into the next season.”
Take a look at the YouTube video showing a bit of a recap of the DTM race where local youngster Sheldon van der Linde fights hard for a podium spot while at the same time amassing enough points to take the overall DTM championship win: Let's celebrate our new Champion! | Highlights DTM Race 2 - Hockenheimring | DTM 2022 | DTM
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