Motorsport News South Africa

SA's Sheldon van der Linde crowned 2022 DTM champion

South African Sheldon van der Linde recently finished third in the final race of the DTM at the Hockenheimring in Germany to claim the championship. Van der Linde is the first-ever DTM champion from South Africa and the first BMW winner since Marco Wittmann in 2016. Wittmann was also able to celebrate his first win of a difficult year at the season finale.

Van der Linde held his nerve on the final race weekend of the season. He overcame a grid penalty to battle his way up from 16th to second place. He claimed fifth on the grid and followed this up by finishing third to reach the podium after a faultless race. He chalked up 164 points to top the drivers’ standings, 11 more than Lucas Auer (AUT, Mercedes) in second place.

Van der Linde celebrated three wins and a total of six podiums in his championship season. It was his fourth season in the DTM and the first for his Schubert Motorsport team, which also secured the team title at the first attempt. It was the first for a BMW M Motorsport team in the DTM since the BMW M Team RMG in 2014. After 16 races, Schubert Motorsport had racked up a total of 226 points.

Marco Wittmann was the second star of the final race in Hockenheim. The two-time DTM champion put down a marker to end what had been a tough season for him, winning the final race in his Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3. It was the 18th victory of his DTM career. He reached the podium on three occasions this year, finishing eighth in the drivers’ championship with 98 points.

Philipp Eng retired due to tyre problems on Sunday. He completed the season in 14th position in the drivers’ standings, with 64 points. Leon Köhler scored his first points on his second race weekend, finishing eighth in the #10 BMW M4 GT3 on Sunday. Walkenhorst Motorsport claimed 11th position in the team standings, with 101 points.

Van der Linde:

Right now, it is impossible for me to describe my emotions. There are a million thoughts going through my head. I had a few sleepless nights this week. I have to admit that the pressure of going into this weekend as championship leader was massive. It feels fantastic now that this weight is off my shoulders. Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of driving in the DTM. I am unbelievably proud and delighted now that I have won it. Growing up in South Africa, making the leap to the DTM seemed a very long way away. But now it has all worked out - I can barely believe it.
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