ABT Sportsline started the second half of the DTM season with two podiums at the Lausitzring in sweltering heat. Kelvin van der Linde took third place on Saturday, his overdue first podium result of the season. Ricardo Feller went one better on Sunday with second place. Both ABT drivers finished in the top ten in both races and thus also collected plenty of points for the team standings, in which ABT Sportsline moved up to third place in the standings. Only 21 points are still missing from the top.
Saturday was all about Kelvin van der Linde, who had been so incredibly unlucky in the first half of the season. The South African was only eight hundredths of a second off pole position. In the race, van der Linde put the pressure on from the start, overtaking Lucas Auer also thanks to a good strategy and a quick pit stop, and then engaged in a fierce duel for second place with Mirko Bortolotti before concentrating on bringing third place home safely.
“After all the bad luck, it was a really great moment to finally be back on the podium,” said Kelvin van der Linde. “Especially for the team as well. I saw one or two tears in the eyes of the guys at the parc-fermé. The first half of the season was really tough, so this result was all the more important. Unfortunately, we had bad luck in qualifying on Sunday. But we drove another strong race, scored good points and moved up a bit in the championship. It was basically a positive weekend. Thanks to the team for doing a great job.”
Kelvin van der Linde fittingly received the trophy for third place from the hands of World Cup-winning footballer “Hansi” Pflügler, who was a guest of ABT Sportsline this weekend and also experienced the Lausitzring as Markus Winkelhock’s co-driver in the Schaeffler Innovation Taxi.
On Sunday, Ricardo Feller clinched another DTM trophy for ABT Sportsline – the 249th in total for the team from Kempten. Starting from second position, he put pressure on the leader Mirko Bortolotti throughout the race. However, the Swiss was denied an opportunity to overtake. In the end, he missed victory by just 0.353 seconds. “I didn’t make a single mistake, but unfortunately neither did Mirko,” said Feller. “Of course, I would have liked to pass, but I’m satisfied as it is. I scored good points for the championship. The guys did a great job once again. The car was top.”
With seventh place on Saturday and second on Sunday, Ricardo Feller moved up to third in the drivers’ standings. He is only 19 points off the lead of the standings. Kelvin van der Linde is now back in the top ten of the championship after his third place on Saturday and eighth on Sunday.
“The weekend went really well,” said ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk. “As a team, we have scored the most points here. Both drivers drove top races and scored important points for the championship. Everyone in the team was happy for Kelvin on Saturday. Ricardo drove a smart, mistake-free race on Sunday that was fun to watch. I think that’s exactly what the spectators want to see in the DTM.”
The DTM continues on 9/10 September at the Sachsenring – a track that both ABT drivers are extremely looking forward to.