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Van der Linde Maintains Series Presence with ROWE Drive

Sheldon van der Linde maintains place on DTM grid with BMW squad ROWE Racing…

Photo: BMW/Gruppe C

Sheldon van der Linde will maintain his presence on the DTM grid through the championship’s transition to GT3 machinery as a driver for the ROWE Racing BMW operation.

The 21-year-old South African contested the last two seasons of the DTM under Class One regulations with BMW Team RBM and earned his maiden victory at Assen last year.

Van der Linde is set for his first drive with the Total 24 Hours of Spa and Nürburgring 24-winning ROWE squad, which has pledged at least one BMW M6 GT3 for its DTM debut.

In 2020 van der Linde represented BMW Team Schnitzer in the N24 and won the Kyalami 9 Hour driving for Walkenhorst Motorsport.

Those GT3 outings complemented his main program in the DTM, where he finished sixth as the second-highest placed BMW pilot behind Timo Glock.

Van der Linde’s older brother Kelvin is also racing in the DTM this year, as part of Abt Sportsline’s two-car setup with Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos.

“Firstly, I am delighted still to be racing in the DTM in a BMW,” said van der Linde.

“After two years and many highlights in the series, my goal is now to use the experience I have gained.

“In doing so, I want to help improve both myself and the team. I am very proud to be part of the ROWE Racing project, and would like to thank the team for the trust they have all put in me.

“On the other side, I am really pleased that Kelvin has also made it into the DTM. We have both always dreamed of driving in the DTM at some point.”

ROWE Racing team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf described van der Linde as a “very good fit” for the team’s latest program.

The German squad, which is run by Motorsport Competence Group, is understood to be working towards a minimum two-car effort in the 2021 DTM, which kicks off in June.

“We are very pleased to line up with Sheldon van der Linde in our first DTM season,” said Naundorf.

“We consciously went for him, because, on one hand, he is still a young driver. On the other hand, he already has a lot of experience in the DTM and has shown his class there.

“He is a very good fit for our expectations and ideas for the DTM, and will help us to implement our concept and achieve the best possible performance.

“The fact that we will see the first sibling rivalry in DTM in this millennium is a nice spin-off for us. I assume it will be an extra motivation for Sheldon to finish ahead of his big brother.”

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

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