BMW has completed its DTM driver lineup for 2019 with the signing of Sheldon van der Linde.
The 19-year-old Audi-affiliated driver will become the first South African to race in the German national championship when the new season begins in May.
Van der Linde was named as the sixth and final member of BMW’s 2019 squad after impressing the German manufacturer during its off-season young driver test.
He will join Bruno Spengler, Philipp Eng and Timo Glock at Team RBM, running alongside the Team RMG pairing of Joel Eriksson and Marco Wittmann.
Van der Linde, who finished second in last year’s ADAC GT Masters championship with his older brother Kelvin, competed in several high-profile races with the Audi R8 LMS GT3 in 2018.
The 2017 Motul Petit Le Mans GT Daytona class winner finished on the podium in the Total 24 Hours of Spa and also made appearances in the Blancpain GT Series, Intercontinental GT Challenge and the Nürburgring 24.
BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt expressed confidence that van der Linde, who will be 19 when the season gets underway, will “find his feet very quickly” in DTM.
“It is great to have another talented youngster in our team,” he said.
“Sheldon made a fantastic impression at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM at the Young Driver Test in mid-December.
“Prior to that, we had been following his career in GT racing very carefully. Sheldon’s speed and versatility make him the perfect addition to our BMW M Motorsport program.”