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Audi’s Van der Linde Holds off Lawson for Race 2 Pole

Kelvin van der Linde takes Sunday pole for Abt Audi squad at Monza…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Abt Sportsline Audi driver Kelvin van der Linde earned his first career DTM pole for the second race of the season-opening event at Monza.

Van der Linde led qualifying for Sunday’s 50-minute race with a time of 1:46.604 in his No. 3 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, while Saturday winner Liam Lawson made a late challenge to qualify second.

Nico Mueller set the early pace for Audi squad Team Rosberg, but the Swiss driver was beaten to the top of the timing charts by van der Linde’s initial 1:46.706 effort.

Van der Linde, who turns 25 today, continued for another attempt and managed to shave a tenth off his provisional pole time to secure the top spot.

Lawson reached second in his Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 which has gained 25 kg of success ballast since its Race 1 victory.

The FIA Formula 2 front-runner split the van der Linde brothers, Kelvin and Sheldon, who were initially first and second in the order. Lawson’s ultimate time of 1:46.682 came up just 0.078 seconds short of the pole figure.

Sheldon van der Linde settled for third on a 1:46.834 behind the wheel of his ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3, ahead of Mueller who ended up fourth.

A late improvement from Esteban Muth saw the T3 Motorsport Lamborghini driver claim fifth, ahead of Saturday’s pole-sitter Vincent Abril in the best of the Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos.

Abril was the top Mercedes-AMG driver in Sunday qualifying, after the German manufacturer locked out the front two rows of the grid for Race 1.

The Monegasque driver was closely followed by fellow AMG competitors Lucas Auer, Maximilian Goetz, Daniel Juncadella and Philip Ellis.

Double series champion Marco Wittmann qualified 11th behind the Mercedes-AMG train in his Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW.

Alex Albon was 12th in the second AF Corse Ferrari, from ROWE Racing’s Timo Glock, GetSpeed’s Arjun Maini and Muecke Motorsport’s Maximilian Buhk.

RESULTS: Qualifying 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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