SA’s Sheldon van der Linde clinches the DTM title
Sheldon van der Linde is the new DTM (German Touring Car Masters) champion, the first South African to win the prestigious title.
Driving a Shubert Motorsport BMW M4, the 23-year-old won the championship with third place in the finale at Hockenheimring in Germany on Sunday.
BMW had double reason to celebrate as two-time champion Marco Wittmann from Germany scored his 18th DTM career win with the Walkenhorst BMW. René Rast (Germany) finished second with the ABT Audi, but that wasn’t enough for the German to seal his fourth DTM title.
Austrian Lucas Auer, who was just two points down on van der Linde going into the race, finished seventh with the Winward Mercedes-AMG and secured runner-up spot in the drivers’ standings ahead of Rast.
The freshly-crowned champion was overwhelmed with congratulations at the finish, from his parents, his brother Kelvin, who finished fifth behind Marius Zug (Audi). On Sunday, Sheldon competed in his 68th DTM race since his series debut in 2019.
The BMW works driver has scored four race wins and four pole positions so far.
“In 2016, I came from SA to Germany as a young lad to become a professional racing driver. That was my dream when I still was a kid. Now standing here as the DTM champion is just simply unbelievable,” a visibly moved Sheldon van der Linde said after the race.
“That is the reward for the hard work this year. I am glad that it has all paid off,” team principal Torsten Schubert commented on Schubert BMW winning the 2022 team title.