Kelvin van der Linde and Nicki Thiim will join Lamborghini factory drivers Jordan Pepper and Marco Mapelli to form ABT Sportsline’s driver lineup for its return to the Nürburgring 24 this year.
The four-man crew will pilot the German squad’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, with which it will compete at the Nordschleife for the first time in six years.
Van der Linde, a defending winner at Eifel endurance classic, has an existing relationship with the Thomas Biermaier-led operation through DTM, where he is set to contest his third consecutive season with the team.
He also replaced Robin Frijns in the team’s ABB FIA Formula E World Championship lineup when the Dutchman was sidelined with an injury.
Together with Mapelli, Van der Linde took part in the opening round of the NLS season behind the wheel of the No. 27 Lamborghini, finishing eighth overall.
“The first impressions with the car on the Nordschleife were very positive,” Van der Linde said. “I think we have a lot of potential.
“My teammates are great, I already know some of the mechanics from the DTM and that’s another reason why I already feel perfectly at home.
“I think with this strong squad in the cockpit and in the pits we can achieve a lot.”
Thiim, another former winner of the event, took part in last year’s race with TF Sport and was a front runner until he was eliminated by a crash.
“After the first meeting with my teammates and the whole team, I am very excited and confident – this is going to be a great project,” says Thiim.
“Representing the Lamborghini and ABT brands makes me very proud.
“My thanks also goes to Aston Martin, who made it possible for me to participate without any red tape.”
The ABT Lamborghini is set to return to action on April 1 for the second NLS round, with the team stating the car’s final design will be unveiled during the N24 Qualifiers on April 22 and 23.
“We are delighted that we have signed such a strong team for ABT’s comeback at the 24-hour race,” says ABT CEO Thomas Biermaier.
“The four guys not only have a lot of experience in GT3 racing, on the Nordschleife and to some extent in the Lamborghini, but also get on very well with each other – that’s a hugely important factor, especially in this race.”