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Van der Linde, Rockenfeller to Drive for Abt Audi Squad

Van der Linde, Rockenfeller to drive Abt Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos in the DTM…

Photo: Abt Sportsline

Kelvin van der Linde will make his DTM debut and Mike Rockenfeller will continue in the series as Abt Sportsline’s nominated driving pair for the 2021 season.

Audi Sport factory drivers Van der Linde and Rockenfeller will each pilot an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo run by the Abt squad, which ran last year’s runner-up Nico Mueller.

Mueller was recently announced at fellow Audi competitor Team Rosberg, alongside American racer Dev Gore. 

Van der Linde, 24, will make his DTM debut driving the GT3-spec Audi that he has raced in a wide range of series over the last fewe years as part of his works driver role.

The South African won the 2017 Nürburgring 24 driving for the Land-Motorsport Audi squad and is also a double ADAC GT Masters champion.

Rockenfeller placed fourth in the 2020 DTM standings driving for Audi Sport Team Phoenix.

The 37-year-old is now signed up for a 15th season in the championship driving for the team that he represented on a full-time basis in 2011.

Rockenfeller made a handful of Audi GT3 appearances with Phoenix in the NLS last year but has never previously completed a full season in the formula.

“Mike knows the DTM inside out after 14 years and Kelvin knows every little detail of the Audi R8 LMS, I believe that with this duo and our team, we will have a strong entry to compete with,” said Abt Sportsline CEO and sporting director Thomas Biermaier.

“You can already guess how high the level of competition will be in the DTM this year. We want to play a decisive role, win races and compete for the title. This is only possible with complete passion and teamwork, as we have been living at ABT for many years.”

Abt Sportsline managing partner Hans-Juergen Abt added: “The combination of an experienced and successful DTM driver and a proven expert in the Audi R8 LMS is ideal for our commitment in the DTM.

“We know both guys well and respect each other. The chemistry is simply right.”

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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