Van der Linde Maintains DTM Points Lead at Zolder
Audi driver Kelvin van der Linde remained at the head of the DTM standings after last weekend’s fifth and sixth rounds of the season at Zolder, where the South African claimed his second victory of the year.
Van der Linde prevailed in Race 1 from pole position, leading home an Abt Sportsline one-two with his teammate Mike Rockenfeller, before Marco Wittmann earned his first series win since 2019 for BMW outfit Walkenhorst Motorsport on Sunday.
Van der Linde made a solid getaway at the start of Saturday’s race as Wittmann and Rockenfeller slotted ahead of Maximilian Goetz’s HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.
An early safety car for an accident that took out title hopeful Liam Lawson, Daniel Juncadella and Arjun Maini was immediately followed by the first pit stops.
Van der Linde emerged just ahead of Wittmann, who was in turn attacked and overtaken by HRT Mercedes-AMG driver Vincent Abril into Lucien Bianchibocht.
Rockenfeller and Alex Albon opted for alternate strategies, staying out for a few more laps. After completing their later stops, both drivers were ahead of Abril, Wittmann and Goetz.
Van der Linde and Rockenfeller went on to finish first and second for the Abt quad, with van der Linde opening up a 32-point lead to retired Ferrari driver Lawson.
The margin came back down slightly after Race 2 when van der Linde finished eighth – his lowest result of the season so far – while Lawson recovered from his Saturday misfortune to take third for Red Bull-AF Corse.
Wittmann started from pole and led from Lucas Auer, Lawson and van der Linde. An early safety car again occurred, this time due to Philip Ellis punting Abril around at Earste.
Goetz made good progress in the early stages and was running net third ahead of Lawson and van der Linde after the pit stops. Auer, second to Wittmann, lost his potential podium to a five-second time penalty for an infringement during his mandatory service.
This handed Goetz second place and Lawson third, enabling the New Zealander to limit van der Linde’s championship lead.
RAM Returns to Winning Ways in British GT
Ian Loggie and Yelmer Buurman claimed their first Intelligent Money British GT Championship win of the season at Snetterton to maintain the pressure on points leaders Dennis Lind and Leo Machitski.
The RAM Racing pair took victory in the second 60-minute race of the weekend, while Charlie Eastwood and Ahmad Al Harthy dominated Race 1 in their guesting Oman Racing with TF Sport entry.
Buurman seized the lead from Lind with an overtake at Riches in wet conditions, before gaining further ground when an early safety car period came out.
The Dutchman had a GT4 car between his Mercedes-AMG and Lind’s Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini, giving him the space to extend the gap to eight seconds.
After the pit stops it was the sister Barwell car of Sandy Mitchell and Adam Balon which took up the chase, with Machitski running third.
Balon initially got close to Loggie but the RAM driver spurred on in the closing stages to win. Machitski ultimately ended up fifth, meaning the Russian driver and Lind left Norfolk with a reduced 6.5-point lead in the standings.
Race 1 saw Eastwood and Al Harthy dominate from pole in their Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Al Harthy benefited from having no success penalty, breaking clear of the field in the opening stint before handing over to Eastwood who drove unchallenged to the line.
The battle for second was more eventful, as Lind overtook a handful of cars in the late stages to claim a podium for Barwell. The Dane came up just 0.3 seconds short of the Bentley Continental GT3 driven by Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman.
James Kell and Jordan Collard won the GT4 class in the first race for Team Rocket RJN, before Academy Motorsport’s Will Moore, Matt Cowley triumphed in Race 2.
Other Racing Action & News
***Ferrari netted a 24 Hours of Spa double as FDA Esports Team drivers David Tonizza, Giovanni De Salvo and Amos Laurito won the official virtual edition of the Belgian enduro held last weekend on Assetto Corsa Competizione. The Italian trio’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, which sported the same No. 51 designation as its real-world Iron Lynx counterpart, took victory by over a minute from the drivers of the second-placed Bentley. Results
***Porsche has released a special edition car celebrating the 25th anniversary of its long-time partner Manthey Racing. The Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport 25 has been co-designed by the two German organizations for track days and circuit racing. It is based on the GT2-homologated 911 GT2 RS Clubsport, which also formed the base of the Porsche 935 special edition.
***Ferrari has rescheduled its Finali Mondiali (World Final) meeting after the FIA World Endurance Championship moved the 8 Hours of Bahrain onto the same weekend. The event at Mugello, which brings together Ferrari’s different racing programs and includes season-ending Challenge series races, will now take place on Nov. 16-21.
On this weekend: 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day (Circuit de la Sarthe)