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Sheldon van der Linde celebrates first podium of his DTM career – three BMW M4 DTMs in top-five.

A strong start was had for the BMW DTM teams at the Lausitzring (GER) in the second DTM race weekend of the season. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) in second place in his Shell BMW M4 DTM brought home the first podium of his DTM career. He is also the first South African to make it onto the podium in the DTM.

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Lausitzring. A strong start was had for the BMW DTM teams at the Lausitzring (GER) in the second DTM race weekend of the season.  Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) in second place in his Shell BMW M4 DTM brought home the first podium of his DTM career. He is also the first South African to make it onto the podium in the DTM. Marco Wittmann (GER, Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM) and Timo Glock (GER, iQOO BMW M4 DTM), finished fourth and fifth having improved their performance significantly compared with the season opener at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL). Philipp Eng (AUT, ZF BMW M4 DTM) in ninth was the fourth BMW driver to finish in the points.
 
Jonathan Aberdein (RSA, CATL BMW M4 DTM) battled with technical problems early on in the race and had to pit, consequently dropping right down the field. He crossed the finish line in 14th place. Lucas Auer (AUT, BMW Bank M4 DTM) also opted to pit early, although that didn’t pay off. He finished in twelfth.
 
In the driver’s standings, van der Linde in fifth with 26 points is the best-placed BMW driver. Tomorrow and next weekend will see three further races at the Lausitzring in total, as part of the first double-header of the DTM season.
 
Reactions to the third DTM race of the 2020 season at the Lausitzring.
 
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director):
“Congratulations to our guys. They did a great job and improved their performance significantly compared with the races at Spa-Francorchamps. Sheldon van der Linde drove a commanding race and was rewarded with the first podium of his DTM career. Marco Wittmann and Timo Glock also battled well and got good results. Philipp Eng wasn’t one hundred percent happy with his car, as he indicated a couple of times over the radio during the race. But finishing in the top ten is a good performance. We fought back against Audi, now we need to continue on this basis and become even faster. Then things will get really interesting. Congratulations to Nico Müller, who brought home another commanding win at the front.”
 
Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 6th, Race: 4th, Drivers’ standings: 9th, 13 points):
“I think we can be very pleased with today’s result. If everything goes perfectly, I might even make it onto the podium, but when you think where we were at Spa-Francorchamps, we can definitely build on our performance today. I was a little unlucky with the traffic in qualifying, but we were able to keep up with the pace of the Audis over the whole race. Hopefully we will be able to reinforce that in the upcoming races.”
 
Timo Glock (#16 iQOO BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 5th, Race: 5th, Driver’s standings: 8th, 14 points):
“That was a massive improvement compared with Spa-Francorchamps. I had a strong car, especially at the start, but I was stuck behind René Rast which is why I pitted slightly earlier than planned. That wasn’t ideal because it saw me lose ground on the front-runners. Despite that I am happy with the top-five finish.”
 
Lucas Auer (#22 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 14th, Race: 12th, Drivers’ standings: 11th, 10 points):
“We’ve had difficulties finding the right pace the whole weekend which is why we opted for a different strategy with an early pit stop. Unfortunately that didn’t really pay off. Now we need to look at how we can get to the same level as the other BMW drivers. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re a good crew and no doubt we will find a way.”
 
Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 11th, Race: 9th, Drivers’ standings: 10th, 10 points):
“Another disappointing race. Nothing went right in qualifying and the first stint, even though we were so competitive in the practice session yesterday. The only thing that we changed from yesterday is the tyres. It feels like it’s a lottery.”
 
Jonathan Aberdein (#27 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 10th, Race: 14th, Drivers’ standings: 13th, 3 points):
“I had a difficult qualifying, so I had to start from right down the grid. We definitely need to analyse that looking ahead to tomorrow. I started the race really well, but then I lost power after a few laps, which cost me a lot of time.”
 
Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 4th, Race: 2nd, Drivers’ standings: 5th, 26 points):
“I’m over the moon with my first DTM podium. I was so close at Zolder last year, but then missed out on the final lap. This time I called up everything I could. I tried to catch Nico Müller at the front, but he was just that little bit too fast in the end. Having said that, we have made a clear step forwards and are now able to challenge the Audis. My car was fantastic today – many thanks to the team.”

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