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Van der Linde Inches Out Preining in Portimao FP2

0.011 seconds separates Sheldon van der Linde from Thomas Preining in FP2…

Photo: DTM

Sheldon van der Linde beat Thomas Preining to the top spot in the second and final practice session for DTM’s season opener at Portimao.

Van der Linde’s No. 31 Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 reeled off a lap of 1:40:807 to top the session.

The South African’s time was only slightly quicker than Preining’s best effort, as the No. 24 KÜS Team Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R was just 0.011 seconds slower than the BMW.

Philipp Eng, Van der Linde’s Schubert teammate, ensured that the German squad had both cars in the top three as the experienced Austrian posted a 1:41:032 to go third.

Eng, in turn, only slightly outpaced the No. 66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo of Marius Zug, with the two separated by 0.019 seconds.

Similarly to the opening practice session earlier on Friday, the margins between the 29-car field were noticeably tight.

The top ten was covered by less than half a second, while twentieth-placed Mikaël Grenier was just a second off the fastest time of the afternoon.

Felipe Fraga rounded out the top five in his Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, leading Maximilian Buhk and Dennis Olsen.

Marco Wittmann was eighth, with Nicki Thiim ninth for T3 Motorsport.

Lucas Auer rounded out the top ten in the No. 22 Mercedes-AMG Team Winward Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, 0.471 seconds behind Van der Linde.

Behind Auer, Mirko Bortolotti was eleventh with nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb in twelfth.

The Frenchman will make his DTM debut this weekend behind the wheel of the No. 37 AlphaTauri AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

Loeb was 0.574s down on the fastest time in the session.

This marks a considerable improvement compared to the first session earlier in the day, where he was over a second off the pace and found himself towards the lower end of the grid.

The first qualifying session of the race weekend takes place at 9:05 a.m. local time, followed by the opening race of the season.

RESULTS: Practice 2

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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