27 August, Saturday

Double success: Van der Linde brothers write DTM history

With the first-ever 1-2 by a brother pairing, South Africans Sheldon and Kelvin van der Linde wrote DTM history at Nürburgring. Sheldon (23) scored his third win of the season with the Schubert BMW while his brother Kelvin (26) worked his way up to finish second with the ABT Audi. Swiss Ricardo Feller (ABT Audi) rounded out the podium. DTM Nürburgring powered by Mercedes-AMG staged a quite...
Double success: Van der Linde brothers write DTM history


With the first-ever 1-2 by a brother pairing, South Africans Sheldon and Kelvin van der Linde wrote DTM history at Nürburgring. Sheldon (23) scored his third win of the season with the Schubert BMW while his brother Kelvin (26) worked his way up to finish second with the ABT Audi. Swiss Ricardo Feller (ABT Audi) rounded out the podium. DTM Nürburgring powered by Mercedes-AMG staged a quite spectacular and exciting race in the Eifel for which the spectators had to wait for hours due to persistent fog until the action got underway at 5.15pm. “That was one of the best races with hard fights for every position,” former DTM champion Mike Rockenfeller commented. It was none other than Italian Mirko Bortolotti, the leader in the drivers’ standings going into the second half of the season, who produced the decisive moment of the race. In the battle for the lead, the Lamborghini works driver lost his patience and tapped the race-leading Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari of Brazilian Felipe Fraga into a spin, leaving both drivers without any points. For the incident, Bortolotti incurred a grid penalty of five places for his next race. From third place, Sheldon van der Linde moved up into the lead from his brother Kelvin, who had been only 20th after the opening lap of the race. Sheldon then brought his third win of the season home in commanding fashion while Kelvin van der Linde secured his first podium result of the season. With 105 points, Sheldon van der Linde claimed back the lead in the drivers’ standings, now 16 points ahead of Bortolotti. René Rast (GER, 81), who finished only ninth with the ABT Audi after a turbulent race, remains third in the standings. “I am absolutely speechless. That has always been our common goal, being together on the podium one day. Today, this dream came true,” an overjoyed Sheldon van der Linde said. “That is what dreams are made of. It is unbelievable,” said an equally happy Kelvin, and added with a smile: “Perhaps next time, the order should be reversed.” The two amicable DTM stars already get their next opportunity on Sunday. Qualifying in the morning having been called off due to fog, the drivers’ standings determined the starting order. As a result, Bortolotti and Sheldon van der Linde lined up on the front row. On a partly damp track, the 28 DTM drivers made a disciplined start. Bortolotti initially led from van der Linde and Rast. However, it was Fraga who had the best getaway from sixth on the grid. The Brazilian moved past Bortolotti to take the lead while still on the opening lap. The action intensified soon, several drivers retired after incidents. Another one to write DTM history was 17-year-old Theo Oeverhaus, who finished 19th with the Walkenhorst BMW in his maiden race as the youngest driver in history of the series. As an appreciation for staying out and waiting so long, DTM has invited all the holders of a Saturday one-day ticket to the Sunday race with free tickets including paddock access. On Sunday, with summerly weather having been forecast, a total of seven races is scheduled. The tenth race of the season, also the 90th DTM race at the ‘Ring, gets underway at 1.30 CEST (live on ProSieben from 1pm).

Dennis Olsen starts the second half of the DTM season with the fastest time of the day


Porsche driver Dennis Olsen has set the fastest time of the day to kick off the second half of the DTM season at the Nürburgring. Driving the 911 of the Munich-based SSR Performance team, the Norwegian lapped the 3.629-kilometre sprint circuit in 1:26.326 minutes. Luca Stolz (GER) achieved the second fastest time (1m 26.353s) at the home race of Mercedes-AMG Team HRT based in the Nürburgring industrial park in Meuspath, while championship leader Mirko Bortolotti (ITA) was third fastest (1m 26.414s) in the GRT Lamborghini in the addition of the two DTM practice sessions on Friday. At the "DTM Nürburgring powered by Mercedes-AMG" event, races nine and ten of the season will be held on Saturday and Sunday (start at 13:30 CEST, ProSieben will broadcast live from 13:00). Most recently, Austria's Thomas Preining in the KÜS Team Bernhard Porsche 911 at the Norisring ensured the first Porsche victory in the DTM. "The Nürburgring should also suit our Porsche," Preining had said at the DTM press conference on Wednesday. This was confirmed in the practice sessions on Friday. In the first session, Olsen held the lead for a long time until Bortolotti secured the fastest time in the final phase. Olsen's Belgian team-mate Laurens Vanthoor was the best Porsche driver with second place, Olsen and Preining finished the practice in fifth and seventh position. In the second practice Olsen set the fastest time of the day, Preining and Vanthoor underlined the Porsche potential on the traditional circuit in the Eifel with positions three and five. "It was a good day. The car was good, we improved compared to last Sunday's test. Now we try to take the next step for qualifying on Saturday. Hopefully we will be in the same position tomorrow! Finding a good set-up for this track is tricky. There are very slow hairpins and some faster corners, but also a chicane that is very tight and the curbs are high. In qualifying, it's all about getting a lap together and not making any mistakes," Dennis Olsen sums up.   DTM Trophy: Best times for Daniel Gregor and Jacob RiegelIn the DTM Trophy, the talent pool on the DTM platform, two German young talents set the best times in the two free practice sessions. Already in the morning, Daniel Gregor in the Porsche 718 Cayman of KÜS Team Bernhard set the best time of the day with 1:35.192 minutes. He was followed by Frenchman Edouard Cauhaupé (Mücke Mercedes-AMG) and German Tim Heinemann (Ring-Racing Toyota). With Nick Hancke (Speed Monkeys Aston Martin) and Thiago Vivacqua (Heide Audi) in fourth and fifth, there were five different brands in the top five positions. In the afternoon, there was a similar picture in the second practice session with all six brands in the top seven positions. Jacob Riegel was fastest in Team Speed Monkeys' Aston Martin with a time of 1:35.414 minutes, ahead of Moritz Löhner (FK Performance BMW), Hancke, Cauhaupé, Heinemann, Vivacqua and Gregor. With the DTM as the top act, the DTM Trophy, the DTM Classic DRM Cup as well as four other race series and a total of 15 races, the DTM weekend presents top-class motorsport action.

The 90th time at the Nürburgring: Hot DTM title battle entering its decisive stage


DTM is getting the second half of its season underway with a jubilee at Nürburgring. Introduced in 1984, the long-standing series will have its 89th and 90th race at the legendary 3.629 kilometres long race track in the Eifel during the “DTM Nürburgring powered by Mercedes-AMG” event this weekend (26 till 28 August). After eight intense races so far this season, the battle for the title is entering its decisive stage with four events in a bi-weekly rhythm: Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Red Bull Ring, Hockenheim. It will be demanding, it will be tough and it will surely be spectacular, too. Will points’ leader Mirko Bortolotti win the first DTM title for Lamborghini? Will Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) secure the cup for BMW in the debut season of the new M4? Or will René Rast (GER) seal his fourth DTM crown? But DTM wouldn’t be DTM when the result could be predicted in any way. Seven different winners from the first eight races reflect the extraordinary variety and the hot battle. > more info & tickets Mirko Bortolotti (GRT), a resident of Vienna, is leading the drivers’ standings with 89 points and would like to secure the maiden DTM race win for Lamborghini at Nürburgring. Sheldon van der Linde (Schubert Motorsport), the only double winner of the season, has 80 points to his tally, one more than René Rast (ABT Sportsline, 79 points), who has a strong comeback in the DTM following a one-year absence as a driver. Next up are Nico Müller (SUI, Rosberg Audi) with 62, Lucas Auer (AUT, WINWARD Mercedes-AMG) with 60 and Felipe Fraga (BRA, Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari) with 50 points. As a result, five brands are represented among the first six places in the drivers’ standings. Halfway through the season, Schubert Motorsport is leading the teams’ standings from GRT and ABT Sportsline while Audi is currently on top in the manufacturers’ standings ahead of Mercedes-AMG and BMW. History was made at Norisring most recently as Austrian Thomas Preining gave Porsche its maiden DTM win. History will be made at Nürburgring as well with 17-year-old Theo Oeverhaus from Osnabrück making his DTM debut as a guest driver with the Walkenhorst BMW, replacing Pascal Wehrlein as the youngest driver in DTM history. Oeverhaus is also the first driver to make the step from the talent pool DTM Trophy into the high-quality DTM. The youngster is pulling double duty as he will be racing both in DTM and DTM Trophy. Last Sunday showed how meticulously teams and drivers have prepared for the second half of the season. Apart from Schubert Motorsport and ABT Sportsline, all teams used a day of unofficial testing at Nürburgring. For the race weekend, the Eifel is also attracting motorsport enthusiasts and DTM fans with summerly temperatures. Of course, the focus is on DTM with its two races on Saturday and Sunday (start at 1.30pm CEST on both days, live on ProSieben from 1pm). With a total of 15 races, the long-standing event at the attractive sprint circuit configuration is a veritable motorsport festival, also featuring DTM Trophy, DTM Classic DRM Cup, BMW M2 Cup, TCR Europe Series, Lotus Cup Europe and P9 Challenge. Traditionally, DTM offers an up-close motorsport experience with many fan attractions and great entertainment, making it an event for the entire family. Tickets for “DTM Nürburgring powered by Mercedes-AMG” can already be ordered starting at ten Euros (Friday) from the DTM Ticket Shop ( and the DTM Ticket Hotline +49 1806 991166. Qualifying sessions and the races of all series will be streamed live at DTM TV (

DTM as the top act, many further races and plenty of fan attractions


A weekend full of experiences is guaranteed during DTM Nürburgring powered by Mercedes-AMG. At the race track, a total of 15 races deliver pure motorsport action, from DTM with its spectacular race cars and world -lass drivers via the DTM Trophy talent pool, the race cars from the 1970s in the DTM Classic DRM Cup up to TCR Europe, one-make series with BMW and Lotus race cars and the P9 Challenge. There is no lack of entertainment away from the track either with a rich portfolio of fan activities including numerous challenges in which spectators can participate in the paddock and around the ‘Ring. To get the second half of the DTM season underway, the legendary Nürburgring, according to the latest forecast, will present itself with summerly temperatures, an ideal opportunity for a weekend trip to the Eifel. The full programme at Nürburgring can already be enjoyed at ten Euros (Friday ticket).  > Tickets and all information. DTM as the fascinating top act, an optical and acoustic delight for every fan, is in the centre of the attention. The second half of the DTM season promises excitement and action as the field is incredibly close together. Young talents, identical sports cars like in the BMW M2 Cup or a historic gala of the Deutsche Rennsport-Meisterschaft from the 1970s: the race weekend at the 3.629 kilometres long sprint circuit with eleven corners ensures an extraordinary variety. At the end of the summer holidays, the DTM weekend at Nürburgring is perfectly suited for a trip for the entire family. After all, the leisure opportunities are just varied as the racing. DTM is particularly close to the fans with the popular pit walks, the autograph sessions and the extraordinary pit view box in which visitors can watch a pit crew during its sometimes really hectic activities. Numerous challenges invite to participate and to win, like the “Be Eddie” commentating event, the response time competition and the Esports contest with eight FANATEC simulators. A huge DTM merchandise stand invites visitors to discover its products while the online shop is operational with immediate effect as well. On the DTM show stage, a DJ is creating a good atmosphere on all days whenever the best drivers aren’t on stage for the public interview sessions.   Myth and history document the fascination of motorsport not only in the paddock, but also in the motorsport experience museum ring°werk. In addition to exhibition vehicles with exciting Nürburgring history, a 4D cinema and many other attractions await the whole family here. Tickets start at €7.90 (more information here). Also worth a visit is the eponymous Nürburg and the legendary Nordschleife with the possibility to experience the "Green Hell" with your own car.



The third race weekend of the season saw the BMW M2 Cup return from its summer break at the Nürburgring as part of the DTM after around two months. There was hardly any time to rest during the break. Behind the scenes, those responsible worked hard to prepare for the upcoming races and set the course for the future.  "Anyone who knows us knows that we can never just do nothing," says Jörg Michaelis, who has been responsible for the BMW M2 Cup since 2020. "The first two events this year have given us a lot of insights into what we can still improve. But we didn't just work on that, we also ran promotions and were able to attract well-known guest starters." We are talking about Alex Hofmann, former MotoGP rider, as well as Sat.1 presenter Matthias Killing. While Hofmann has already completed several races in motor racing, for Killing it is the premiere at a professional race. In order to prepare for the event, the 42-year-old obtained his racing licence in the environment of the BMW M2 Cup and received initial tips from the experts. While it's all about honour for the two VIP starters, the permanent BMW M2 Cup drivers will once again be fighting for points in the overall standings at the Nürburgring. Fabian Kreim has collected the most points so far at the Lausitzring and Norisring. Maxime Oosten, Tom Nittel and Robert Hefler follow in the other positions in the standings. As last year, Stefan Kruse will again contest a guest start in the Eifel and support the further development of the series.  During the summer break, the organisers noticed how great the interest in the Cup is - among other things, at the "Jack's Racing Day" in Assen, the Netherlands, and at the German Kart Championship in Mülsen. Both events served to present the series and get people talking. "It is very important to us that the BMW M2 Cup family grows. We don't make it easy for ourselves to find the right candidates. The interest in a guest start this season as well as participation in 2023 is high," says Jörg Michaelis. The Nürburgring is the third of six stops for the BMW M2 Cup in the 2022 season, with events at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the Red Bull Ring in Austria and Hockenheim following the guest appearance in the Eifel.

Summer, sun, motorsport: These Event highlights await at the Nürburgring in August


Hot duels with powerful race cars, autograph sessions with the stars, unique glimpses behind the scenes of the teams - this mix awaits visitors to the Nürburgring in August. The focus is on the fascination of motorsport: whether it's powerful GT3 cars at the ADAC GT Masters and the DTM or fast-paced classic cars from all decades at the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix. A brief portrait of the event highlights. ADAC GT Masters | 05 - 07 August 2022Who will be the half-time champion in the ADAC GT Masters? This question will be answered by the drivers at Races 7 and 8 at the Nürburgring. Around 25, up to 600-hp cars from Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche will be battling for important championship points on the sprint track. The leader of the standings is Land Motorsport driver Jusuf Owega with his Audi. Christian Engelhart and Ayhancan Güven in the Porsche from Team Joos Sportwagentechnik are tied for second place. In the fight for the best position for the races, the spectators can already join in the excitement during the practice and qualifying sessions. Things get really serious during the main races, which start at 13:00 on Saturday and Sunday. In any case, there will be concentrated racing action from morning to night: the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and the ADAC series GT4 Germany, TCR Germany and Formula 4 will start in the supporting program.A special highlight - in addition to autograph sessions, grid walks and pit walks: the Mannesmann pit. Here, fans get an exclusive insight during the individual sessions. In addition, there will be a detailed command post and a pit stop challenge for all those who want to change a tire themselves.Tickets are available under Children and young people under the age of 16 are even admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix | 12 - 14 August 2022Around 100 years of racing history come together on the track and in the paddock at the AvD-Oldtimer-Grand-Prix. Particularly impressive: the international Masters Racing Legends races with the fastest Formula 1 monoposti, including big names such as March, Tyrrell, Lotus and Brabham and Hesketh. In addition to the formula cars from various eras, there will be pre-war sports cars as well as Group C cars or thrilling vehicles from the 80s and 90s in the DTM Classic Cup. As a special, the Sharknose Revival awaits in the form of the Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips Memorial.In addition to the race track, visitors can get up close and personal with the vehicles. They will be presented atmospherically in the pits of the historic paddock. The vehicles of the racing series are waiting in the Grand Prix paddock as well as many other stands and tents with classics and accessories. There will also be special exhibitions, numerous celebrity guests and former race winners. Whether you've come for the autograph hunt, the photo safari or simply to enjoy the most beautiful racing cars from all the past decades - fans of all ages will find what they're looking for here. Admission is free for children and young people up to 17 years of age when accompanied by an adult. DTM | 26 - 28 August 2022At the Nürburgring, the DTM is back at full throttle. After its half-time break, it starts the thrilling second half of the championship in the Eifel. Mirko Bortolotti arrives in the lead. Nine points separate him from second-placed Sheldon van der Linde, who in turn is just one point ahead of René Rast. The German is therefore in third place and will try to use the home race to his advantage. The omens are good. After all, Rast has already crowned himself DTM champion at the Nürburgring.A total of 29 race cars will be on the grid on the last weekend in August. The field of the racing series has not been this large for over 20 years. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG as well as Ferrari, Lamborghini and, for the first time, Porsche will make the international field an experience. Drivers from 15 nations fight for every thousandth of a second.An absolute must for every motorsport enthusiast: the Pitwalk. In addition to the unique view into the pit garages and onto the DTM race cars, this offers - provided you have a paddock ticket - unique proximity and the opportunity for autographs from the stars. An even more exclusive insight is provided by the Pit View Box, where fans can watch the mechanics and engineers directly during the final preparations of the DTM cars.Tickets for the DTM are available from ten euros, children up to six years of age are free of charge, children up to 14 years of age always pay only ten euros.

Nürburgring starts 2022 season with full calendar


The Nürburgring kicks off the season. In 2022, the versatile event location will once again offer the entire event portfolio with engine sounds, guitar tones and endurance sports. Finally, the focus is back on the fan experience. At the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h-Nürburgring, the unique party atmosphere will return to the Green Hell for the 50th anniversary, and at Rock am Ring thousands of festival visitors will finally celebrate together again. Those who want to feel like a racing driver themselves this year are also in good hands at the Nürburgring. The training sessions for everyone with the new Formula 4 cars provide unique memories. Despite the different event formats, thrilling motorsport is still the focus at the legendary race track. The racing series and vehicles are characterised by an enormous variety. Impressive race trucks, such as at the ADAC Truck Grand Prix, are just as much a part of the experience as international top-class sport in the DTM or the ADAC GT Masters. Meanwhile, the FIA World RX of Germany is a fully electric event with plenty of power under the bonnet. On the other hand, vehicles from all eras of motorsport await at a wide variety of classic car events such as the AvD-Oldtimer-Grand-Prix or the ADAC 1000-km-Race. Those who prefer to experience racing on two wheels will also find exciting dates in the calendar. The traditional start of the season for bikers, the "Anlassen" motorbike service, will also be held again in 2022. The emotional conclusion here is the joint parade of all participants over the legendary Nordschleife. At sporting events like Rad am Ring and the StrongmanRun, on the other hand, there is no performance measured in horsepower. Here, the participants only use their own muscle power. Away from the race track, the party gets going for the spectators at the Nürburgring Darts Gala. World champions and big names of the sport will be present in the ring°arena on 25 March. Big 24-hour anniversary, a 12-hour premiere and a mega rock festivalIn September, the big 90s party will take place in the same location - among others with the musicians of Caught in the Act or Loona. The indoor event is part of the supporting programme of the new Nürburgring 12h Race, which will celebrate its premiere from 9 - 11 September. The motorsport weekend will be the new highlight of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, which will start a total of eight times on the combination of Grand Prix Track and Nordschleife in 2022. Already in May (26.05. - 29.05.) the 50th anniversary of the legendary 24-hour race will take place. The fans will finally be able to enjoy the complete fan experience again. Including camping, barbecue and party around the Nordschleife, free choice of seats on the grandstands, access to the paddock and the obligatory visit to the grid before the race. There will be a big reunion with the fans just one week later at the Rock am Ring festival. From 3 to 5 June, the bands around the headliners Green Day, Muse and Volbeat will perform here and really heat up the crowd. A day at full throttle at the Nürburgring Driving AcademyFor all those who not only want to experience goosebump moments at events, but also want to put their foot down themselves, the Nürburgring also has an innovation in its programme. In future, participants in the Nürburgring Driving Academy training sessions will sit in ultra-modern Formula 4 cars. With breathtaking cornering speeds and explosive acceleration - from 0 to 100 km/h: 2.9 seconds - they will race around the Grand Prix Track. Everything is built according to the latest safety standards. The Nürburgring offers around 60 courses, ranging from starter courses to professional formula training. In principle, anyone with a valid driving licence and a maximum height of 1.90 metres and a weight of 110 kilograms can take part.

AlphaTauri driver Alex Albon celebrates first DTM victory


Alex Albon celebrated his first victory at the Nürburgring and gave Ferrari its second success in DTM history. In an eventful race, the Thai driver for AlphaTauri AF Corse, who started the race from first place on the grid, escaped all incidents and won in commanding style. The Formula 1 substitute driver for Red Bull is the sixth winner in the eighth DTM race. In dry, good weather conditions, Spain's Daniel Juncadella in the GruppeM team's Mercedes-AMG completed the podium ahead of two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann in the Walkenhorst-Motorsport BMW. After eight of 16 races, Kelvin van der Linde from Audi Team ABT Sportsline is the unofficial "half-time" champion of the 2021 DTM, although the South African came away empty-handed for the first time this Sunday after a collision with Liam Lawson and Mike Rockenfeller. With 129 points, Kelvin van der Linde enters the second half of the season as the leader of the standings. His lead over Maximilian Götz (96) has shrunk to 33 points. New third in the points table is Wittmann (94), Albon (82) has moved up to fourth. Porsche had little luck in its DTM debut. As on Saturday, Michael Ammermüller in the SSR Performance 911 failed to finish, but had clearly shown its potential with fourth place on the grid. The 19-year-old Belgian Esteban Muth gave Lamborghini its best result of the season with fifth place. Ex-Formula 1 driver Timo Glock also finally scored his first DTM points of the season in eighth place in the BMW fielded by ROWE Racing. "It was a really good day for my team and me today," said Albon, the first Thai winner in the DTM. "The team worked a lot overnight and it paid off. Today we made a step forward, we want to take this momentum with us." The Red Bull-Ferrari combination of AF Corse is the first DTM team to win races with both drivers - Albon and Lawson - this season. Action-packed race: "Never experienced in DTM: five cars side by side at times."As on Saturday, the spectators in the grandstands witnessed breathtaking moments at the start in close formation of two cars, and this was repeated twice more during safety car phases. From first place on the grid, Alex Albon in the AlphaTauri-Ferrari stormed to the front and led the DTM field, which numbered 23 cars for the first time, ahead of Daniel Juncadella (ESP/GruppeM-Mercedes-AMG) and Michael Ammermüller (GER/SSR Performance) in the Porsche. But the first incidents occurred as early as the first lap, when Swiss Philip Ellis (Mercedes-AMG/WINWARD) skidded through the gravel trap and subsequently scattered various carbon parts on the track. When Maximilian Buhk (GER) with the Mücke-Mercedes-AMG was stranded in the pit wall after being pushed, the safety car was deployed for the first time. When the first re-start was made after lap three, Albon pulled away again. Behind him, the next hullabaloo with Ammermüller, Luca Stolz in the Toksport-Mercedes-AMG, Ellis and Götz already followed in the second turn. When, after the first pit stops, guest starter Hubert Haupt, who celebrated a comeback after his DTM starts in 1991/1992 as well as 2001, rolled out with a technical defect on the Mercedes-AMG of his HRT team, the safety car slowed down the field again. It was clear that all those who had not yet completed the compulsory stop were at a disadvantage - and that was eight drivers. The next incident was caused by Liam Lawson, who attempted an optimistic manoeuvre in the chicane, but failed. As a result, the two ABT Audi cars of Kelvin van der Linde and Mike Rockenfeller, of all people, retired, and Lawson received a drive-through penalty. Having arrived at the Nürburgring in second place in the standings, the 19-year-old Red Bull junior Lawson failed to score any points. Surprisingly, former Formula 1 driver Christian Klien (GER/JP Motorsport) led after the second safety car period and collected the first leading kilometres for McLaren. Albon, however, quickly moved closer and regained the race lead in commanding fashion with Juncadella and Wittmann in tow. "It was really extreme at times today. At times we were running with up to five cars next to each other - that was intense. I've never experienced that in the DTM before, but it was still a lot of fun," Wittmann reported. "In moments like that, it's always important to make the right decision between risk and caution. We managed that well today." Dramatic qualifying: four brands on the first two rows of the gridAs on Saturday, when 22 cars were within a single second of each other, the qualifying session on Sunday morning was a hot battle for positions. Rain showers caused some spectacular spins, but all of them were without consequences. Although the rain became heavier, the times improved in the end. And in the end, AlphaTauri AF Corse rejoiced: Alex Albon (THA) gave the prancing horse from Maranello its first pole position in the DTM. Mercedes-AMG with Spaniard Daniel Jancadella (GruppeM), BMW with Zolder winner Marco Wittmann (GER/Walkenhorst) and Porsche with Michael Ammermüller (GER/SSR Performance) followed behind. This meant that four brands were represented in the first two rows of the grid. In the 23-strong grid, all seven brands represented were to be found in the top ten. In qualifying as well as in the race, the 2021 DTM demonstrates an extraordinary balance.

Kelvin van der Linde takes DTM victory at the Nürburgring


Breath-taking position fights, hot bumper-to-bumper duels, but some penalties as well: the DTM season at the Nürburgring was quite lively. Eventually, the spectators in the packed grandstands particularly cheered for Kelvin van der Linde. Having started from pole position, the South African claimed his third win of the season in an impressive manner with the ABT Sportsline Audi and extended his lead in the drivers’ standings. As the best-placed guest driver, Luca Stolz (GER) with the Mercedes-AMG of the Toksport WRT team secured second place on the podium, ahead of Swiss Philip Ellis with the WINWARD Mercedes-AMG. In the evening, Luca Stolz then had his second place taken away as he was given a 30-second time penalty. During his pit stop, there had been an incident with a mechanic of the GruppeM Racing team. While approaching his pit position, he had hit a mechanic of the other team. As Luca Stolz, being a guest driver, isn’t eligible to score points anyway, local hero Mike Rockenfeller, born in Neuwied and initially classified fourth, had already been able to add 15 points to his DTM tally. In the spectacular DTM race at the Nürburgring, there were 23 cars on the grid for the first time, the highest number in many years. Moreover, Porsche made its début in DTM, but Michael Ammermüller already had to retire from the race with his SSR Performance 911 following the opening lap “I am enjoying every second this season. It has taken me so long to finally make it into DTM. I kept knocking on the door at Audi asking whether they had a DTM seat available for me. Now, I am even happier to be racing against these strong guys”, a buoyant Kelvin van der Linde said. At the Nürburgring, the 25-year-old from South Africa even pulled off a hattrick: he claimed pole position, posted the fastest lap time of the race and secured victory. “It was an intense race. At the start and the restart, I was able to stay in front and keep the lead. Only after the tyre change, I had to fight hard. There was some contact, too, there are some hard battles out there. I kept it cool and remained calm.” Van der Linde extended his points’ lead to 129 points, Maximilian Götz (GER), who scored twelve points on Saturday, bringing his total to 84, has now moved up into second while Liam Lawson (Red Bull Ferrari, AF Corse) didn’t score and dropped back to third in the standings (80). Once again, the moment of the start was a breath-taking affair for drivers and fans in equal measure. In close formation, 23 race cars were roaring down the main straight, the highest number in years. Ellis or van der Linde – who would be first going into the tight right-hand corner? Kelvin van der Linde had the better line and defended his pole position against Ellis’s white-and-blue WINWARD Mercedes. Until then, everything went smoothly, but at the short loop of the sprint circuit, Maximilian Buhk (GER) was tapped into a spin with the Mücke Mercedes-AMG, which prompted a safety car intervention. Next to Buhk, Christopher Haase (GER) with the Rosberg Audi and Michael Ammermüller were also among the victims of the opening lap and retired early. The restart at the end of lap three also was executed in spectacular double-file formation, much to the delight of the fans in the grandstands and in front of the screens all over the world. Again, van der Linde defended the lead while the two Mercedes-AMGs with Ellis and Stolz battled behind him. The race was a lively affair throughout with numerous battles in the entire field and with hard overtaking manoeuvres. Due to varying strategies for the mandatory pit stops, a handful of drivers racked up laps in the lead. Local hero Mike Rockenfeller (GER) led the field for the longest time with the ABT Audi as he procrastinated his pit stop as long as he could. Whether it was Philip Ellis, Alex Albon and Luca Stolz battling for the podium positions or Liam Lawson, Markus Winkelhock and Daniel Juncadella fighting for points, it was racing at its best. Winkelhock, who was replacing Sophia Flörsch in the ABT Audi with Space Drive steering as the latter had clashing commitments, eventually incurred a drive-through penalty as he had caused a spin for the Lawson Ferrari. After Rockenfeller had been the last to come in for fresh tyres after 31 laps, the road was clear for his teammate Kelvin van der Linde to collect his third win of the season. Guest driver Luca Stolz, whose team is located in Quiddelbach in the middle of the legendary Nordschleife, had worked his way up to second. “The fights today were great and I hope that wasn’t our last DTM race,” Stolz said. A fourth-place finish for Rockenfeller, who is known as a ‘tyre whisperer’ anyway, reflected how much he had saved his tyres while still being able to put in good lap times. His unusual strategy paid off. Just before the start of the race, all the DTM drivers and team principals had assembled in front of the grandstand at the end of the start and finish straight. With a “Thank you to everybody who has helped out” banner and a minute of silence, drivers, team principals and spectators remembered the victims of the flooding disaster on 14 and 15 July, especially in the Ahr valley close to the Nürburgring. Spectacular qualifying: 22 cars within one second, third pole for Kelvin van der Linde What the 23-strong field presented in qualifying on Saturday was outright spectacular. It was close, closer, super close: 22 cars were within less than one second. There was only one who was in control, and that happened to be the points’ leader. Kelvin van der Linde put in a perfect lap with the ABT Audi and had a comparatively large margin of over two tenths of a second. Philip Ellis (SUI) with the WINWARD Mercedes and Marco Wittmann (GER) with the Walkenhorst BMW followed in second and third place. As a result, there were three different brands in the first three grid positions. The best guest driver in qualifying was Luca Stolz in fifth with the Toksport Mercedes while Porsche only ended up 20th upon its DTM début with Michael Ammermüller (GER/SSR Performance). On Sunday, the eighth of this season’s 16 races will be held at the Nürburgring. Who will become ‘half-time champion’ of the 2021 DTM? This question will be answered from 1.30pm onwards. SAT.1 is broadcasting live from 1pm.