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GT World Challenge Europe

Feller Replaces Unwell Van der Linde in No. 32 WRT Audi

Late driver swap in No. 32 Audi as Ricardo Feller replaces unwell Kelvin van der Linde…

Photo: Audi Sport

Ricardo Feller has been drafted into Team WRT’s driver lineup for this weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup season finale at Barcelona.

The Swiss GT3 ace is a late substitute for fellow Audi Sport factory driver Kelvin van der Linde, who has been ruled out with an unspecified illness.

Feller, who is van der Linde’s teammate in DTM, will share the No. 32 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II with three-time Sprint Cup champions Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts.

The reigning ADAC GT Masters champion is set for his second Endurance Cup appearance of the season after contesting the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa with Audi Sport Team Attempto.

He raced full-time in the championship last year and won the Silver Cup title with Lamborghini outfit Emil Frey Racing.

Additionally, Feller is set for his first outing with WRT since the 2018 Sprint Cup season.

In a statement on social media, WRT confirmed: “Kelvin van der Linde to miss Barcelona round due to illness. WRT drafts Ricardo Feller to complete its driving crew.

“Welcome back Ricky and we wish our friend and mate Kelvin a quick recovery.”

Van der Linde posted on Instagram: “It’s with great sadness that I have to withdraw from this weekend’s GTWC event in Barcelona.

“16 years of motorsport and I have never been forced to miss a race for health reasons. Wishing the team all the best for the finale.”

Barcelona marks WRT’s final race with Audi after a long partnership that has yielded numerous GTWC Europe titles and major endurance race wins over the years.

Vanthoor and Weerts arrive into the event fresh off the back of clinching the Sprint Cup title at Valencia two weeks ago, however they are out of Endurance Cup contention after gearbox issues caused their Audi to retire from the 3 Hours of Hockenheim.

“It will be an important and very special weekend after the emotional one we lived in Valencia at the Sprint Cup finale,” Weerts previewed.

“We haven’t been very lucky in Endurance this year, with some technical issues and various incidents, but we proved to be strong and we must focus only on what comes next.

“Barcelona is a track I like, we could take a podium finish last year [and] hopefully we can repeat that this year too.”

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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