Sheldon van der Linde would be the first South African in the DTM
Sheldon van der Linde is the latest driver on the entry list for the 2019 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season. The 19-year-old driver from Johannesburg would be the first ever South African in the DTM when he makes a debut in a BMW M4 Turbo DTM at season-opening round at Hockenheim in May.
Van der Linde joined BMW as a replacement for Augusto Farfus. The other drivers in BMW’s factory line-up are the same as the year before – Marco Wittmann, Joel Eriksson, Timo Glock, Philipp Eng and Bruno Spengler.
Sheldon van der Linde started his successful racing career with championship titles in the South African Volkswagen Polo Cup and then followed his older brother Kelvin in moving to Europe. From 2016 to 2018, Sheldon raced with Audi in the sports car and touring car races, finishing last year as ADAC GT Masters vice-champion together with his brother Kelvin.
Instead of continuing a career with Audi, Sheldon is now moving to rival German manufacturer BMW. BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said that Van der Linde’s impressive performance in the 2018 post-season DTM rookie test at Jerez was crucial to his hiring.
Audi earlier confirmed its DTM line-up, retaining all six drivers from the previous season – Rene Rast, Jamie Green, Robin Frijns, Nico Muller, Loic Duval and Mike Rockenfeller. They will race with three customer teams from the previous seasons (Rosberg, Abt Sportsline, Phoenix) but there will be two more Audis on the grid entered by Team WRT. The drivers still have to be announced.
Following withdrawal of Mercedes from the DTM, Aston Martin is ready to enter the championship as the third manufacturer. The British luxury sports car manufacturer will be represented by the Swiss team R-Motorsport, which is a part of AF Racing AG based in Niederwil. The race cars, based on a Vantage, will be built by HWA.
Photos: BMW Motorsport,