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Van der Linde Takes Last Gasp Sunday Pole

Sheldon van der Linde follows up Lausitz win with Sunday pole, Fraga’s Ferrari catches fire…

Photo: DTM

Sheldon van der Linde took pole position for the Sunday DTM race at the Lausitzring, topping the session amidst a flurry of late improvements after a lengthy red flag for a fire in Felipe Fraga’s Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari.

Van der Linde, fresh off taking his first win of the season on Saturday, charged to the fastest time of the session by posting a 1:30.998 in his No. 31 Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3.

In doing so, he was 0.108 seconds than three-time series champion Rene Rast in the No. 33 Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

Rast also posted his fastest time right at the very end, which demoted Mercedes driver Maro Engel to third.

Mirko Bortolotti’s fastest lap of 1:31.159 came as the Italian took the checkered flag, which promoted him to fourth on the grid.

Improvements from Rast, Engel and Bortolotti dropped the Abt Audi of Ricardo Feller to fifth, with the Swiss driver jumping up to second place on two separate occasions only to fall back down the order again.

All of these improvements came after a lengthy red flag interruption, which was triggered when the No. 74 Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Felipe Fraga caught fire midway through the session.

The Brazilian parked his career in the gravel with flames shooting out the back and the side of the car.

He was able to escape the burning car unharmed, quickly running to a marshall and retrieving a fire extinguisher to try and combat the fire.

Despite efforts from both driver and marshalls, the car suffered significant damage to the rear and ended the session in last place, although its participation in this afternoon’s race seems highly uncertain.

Nico Mueller held the top spot at the time of the red flag, but saw himself dropped to sixth place at the flag ahead of Fraga’s teammate Nick Cassidy.

Luca Stolz qualified eighth, with the top ten rounded out by championship leader Lucas Auer and David Schumacher.

The second and final DTM race of the weekend is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. local time.

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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