kelvin-van-der-linde-2021-08.png

Kelvin van der Linde extends lead in the DTM

• ABT Sportsline in front with Audi R8 LMS in DTM drivers’ and teams’ standings
• Victories for Audi customer teams in GT America in GT3, GT2 and GT4 classes
• Robin Rogalski in front after two wins in Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup

In the 2021 DTM, Audi achieved the second one-two with the R8 LMS after the opening success at Monza: Kelvin van der Linde won at the third race weekend at Zolder ahead of Mike Rockenfeller and extended his lead in the standings to 21 points. In Nashville, Audi customer teams in the GT America race series clinched a total of three victories with their GT3, GT2 and GT4 sports cars from Germany.

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Second one-two for the Audi R8 LMS in the DTM: For the second time in the 2021 DTM season, Kelvin van der Linde stood at the top of the podium. After the South African had won the season opener at Monza for ABT Sportsline ahead of Nico Müller from Team Rosberg, he now celebrated a start-finish victory in the Audi R8 LMS in Saturday’s race at Zolder. The 25-year-old professional had secured pole position in Belgium and won Saturday’s race after 39 race laps with a 0.696-second advantage. Teammate Mike Rockenfeller had been unlucky in qualifying and had to abort his fastest lap after an opponent spun. He only started from fifth on the grid, but made up two positions already on the first race lap. At the pit stop he gained another position. He then controlled the pace with his teammate. In the end, ABT Sportsline achieved the first one-two victory by a team in the 2021 DTM with Kelvin van der Linde ahead of Mike Rockenfeller. After three of eight events, van der Linde has a 21-point lead in the standings over Ferrari driver Liam Lawson. ABT Sportsline is the best of 13 teams and is 13 points ahead of Ferrari squad Red Bull Alphatauri AF Corse.

Strong weekend in GT America: James Sofronas was happy about his first victory of the season with Audi in the mixed sports car racing series GT America. The GMG Racing team principal and race driver had secured grid position one with an advantage of more than half a second in the Audi R8 LMS ultra on the fourth race weekend at Nashville. However, the Californian lost his good position right at the beginning of the first race. He then fought a duel with Ferrari driver Bret Curtis during which the lead changed several times. When Curtis spun on the street circuit with three laps to go, the way was clear for Sofronas. After 40 minutes of racing, the long-time Audi customer won by 1.6 seconds from Lamborghini driver Jeff Burton. In the second race, Jason Daskalos was the best Audi driver in the field and finished second in his R8 LMS ultra.

Audi R8 LMS GT2

Successful newcomer: At the fourth round of the GT America race series, an Audi R8 LMS GT2 was on the grid for the first time this year. Elias Sabo, who had contested the first two events in an Audi R8 LMS GT4, had moved up to the 640-hp GT2 variant of the race car on the street circuit of Nashville in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As the only competitor with a GT2 sports car, he met ten GT3 race cars and twelve GT4 models in the starting field. Although the tight, 3.372-kilometer short street circuit did not offer ideal conditions for the powerful GT2 model, Sabo managed an appealing performance. The American had qualified for seventh position on the grid. Already after the start he made up one place, moved up to fifth place on the 19th of 21 laps and thus collected full points in the GT2 standings.

Audi R8 LMS GT4

Right on the money: Alex Welch in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 was in top form at the Music City Grand Prix of the GT America racing series in Nashville. The American privateer had clinched first place on the grid in the field of twelve GT4 race cars with an advantage of three tenths of a second. After losing one place to McLaren driver Thomas Surgent at the start, Welch retook the lead on the third lap and ultimately clinched his first victory of the season by 2.4 seconds ahead of Ford driver Robb Holland. In the second race, the Audi privateer drove to second place. In his most successful race weekend so far this year, Welch collected 43 points and is fourth in the standings out of 23 competitors.

Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup

Unbeatable in the rain and on a dry track: Robin Rogalski was the man of the weekend at the second event of the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup. Like all the other contenders, the 2019 champion had started the first race at Assen in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 on slicks and immediately snatched the lead from Tom Spitzenberger. When heavy rain set in after two laps, the safety car led the competitors into the pit lane for a tire change. Rogalski then clearly pulled away from his pursuers. He won on the Dutch circuit with a lead of 7.3 seconds ahead of Tom Spitzenberger. Third place went to Tomasz Magdziarz. In the second race, Rogalski also prevailed in dry conditions, winning by 7.9 seconds from Spitzenberger, while Max Zschuppe finished third. Rogalski now leads the standings, tied with Spitzenberger, with 81 points.

Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)

Season wins number four and five: The third race weekend of the Sports Car Championship Canada presented by Michelin was firmly in the hands of the Audi drivers. On the Calabogie circuit in the Canadian province of Ontario, there was no way around two drivers from Team TWOth Autosport. In the first 40-minute race, Travis Hill in the Audi RS 3 LMS prevailed by half a second ahead of teammate Nick Looijmans. In the second race, Looijmans crossed the finish line almost three seconds ahead of Hill as winner of the TC classification. Audi customers have thus won five of the first six races in Canada.

Coming up next week

13–15/08 Rudskogen (N), round 4, Racing NM
14/08 Zwartkops (ZA), round 4, G&H Extreme Supercars