ABT Sportsline Defends Lead in the DTM

ABT Sportsline defended its lead in the DTM drivers’ standings with Kelvin van der Linde in Zandvoort. His team-mate Ricardo Feller remains in third place in the standings. The team from Kempten is also still ahead in the teams’ standings ahead of the home race at the Norisring (July 6/7).

[source: ABT Sportsline]

The two ABT drivers had an unexpectedly difficult time on a track that has always suited the Audi R8 LMS particularly well in the past. As a result of a change to the Balance of Performance (BoP), Kelvin van der Linde and Ricardo Feller had to look mainly in their rear-view mirrors in both races.

After 13th place on Saturday, van der Linde nevertheless managed a spectacular race on Sunday. The ABT driver had secured sixth on the grid on Friday before the BoP was changed. Van der Linde made up one place at the start. With a good strategy, a usual fast pitstop and an overtaking manoeuvre in which he overtook two competitors at once in one of the fastest corners on the outside lane, van der Linde moved up to third. Although almost the entire grid piled up behind him in the final phase, the ABT driver was able to defend third place. Remarkable: Van der Linde made a short trip to the test day at Le Mans between the two DTM races and only arrived back in Zandvoort two hours before the start of Sunday’s race. He was accordingly exhausted but overjoyed on Sunday evening.

Things went backwards for Ricardo Feller in both races. For the Swiss driver, who had won Sunday’s race in Zandvoort last year from pole position, eighth and eleventh places were a huge disappointment from fourth and ninth on the grid.

Martin Tomczyk (ABT Motorsport Director): “After a frustrating Saturday for us, we were able to limit the damage with Kelvin van der Linde on Sunday. His third place was obviously good for the championship. Both drivers drove clever and scored important points. They had to drive defensively in Zandvoort, which is obviously no fun for any racing driver. Despite all the discussions about the BoP, we remained focussed as a team and defended our lead in the drivers’ and teams’ standings. That makes me proud of the team. The race on Sunday was extremely exciting and really worth watching. At this point, congratulations to our partner Schaeffler on the victory with Schubert and Marco Wittmann.”

Kelvin van der Linde (Saturday 13th/Sunday 3rd, 19 points): “Those were two crazy days for me. The race on Saturday didn’t go according to plan, but I was very happy with the podium on Sunday. We took home some good points and retained the DTM lead in Kempten. I am very satisfied. I think we can all make good use of the three-week break until the Norisring. Everyone in the team deserves a bit of a holiday, because it’s been a tough four weeks with two DTM races and our 24-hour project.”

Ricardo Feller (Saturday 8th/Sunday 11th, 13 points): “It was a disappointing weekend for me. I’m definitely not happy. The guys did a good job, but somehow we just didn’t have a chance on my side of the pits. We have to analyse this and hope to be stronger again at the Norisring.”