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DTM: Sheldon van der Linde and René Rast secure top-ten finishes in a challenging weekend.

The sixth DTM race weekend of the season at the Sachsenring (GER) demanded determination from the BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers. The track layout didn’t play to the strengths of the BMW M4 GT3, and the car's classification also didn't help in reaching the podium. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) achieved the best result for BMW M Motorsport with a sixth-place finish on Saturday.

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Sachsenring. The sixth DTM race weekend of the season at the Sachsenring (GER) demanded determination from the BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers. The track layout didn’t play to the strengths of the BMW M4 GT3, and the car's classification also didn't help in reaching the podium. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) achieved the best result for BMW M Motorsport with a sixth-place finish on Saturday. His Schubert Motorsport teammate, René Rast (GER), secured eighth place in both races. Marco Wittmann (GER) made his race debut at the Sachsenring, finishing twelfth and earning points on Sunday.

 

The main issue was the BMW M4 GT3's lack of one-lap speed in qualifying. Starting from midfield or even backfield positions, the fight for podium places became challenging, even though the BMW M Motorsport drivers made strong comebacks in the races. Rast moved from 18th place on Saturday and 15th place on Sunday to finish eighth in both races. Wittmann improved from 22nd to twelfth on Sunday and from 24th to 18th on Saturday. Van der Linde secured his sixth place from eleventh on the starting grid on Saturday. However, he retired on Sunday after a collision on the first lap. Sandro Holzem (GER) in the #56 BMW M4 GT3 from Team Project 1 finished 20th and 16th.

 

In the driver standings, defending champion van der Linde is currently fourth with 113 points, with four races left in the season. In the team standings, Schubert Motorsport is also in fourth place with 192 points.

 

Reactions to the DTM weekend at the Sachsenring:

 

Sheldon van der Linde (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “Physically, I'm okay, and that's the most important thing after my accident. However, I must admit that in the initial moment of impact, I was left breathless. Overall, this weekend has set me back significantly in the title race. It will be extremely challenging to defend my title, but I won't give up. We've been strong at the Red Bull Ring in the past, so I'm hoping for much better results there.”

 

René Rast (#33 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “Unfortunately, it was a very challenging weekend for us. We had already feared as much after the Friday practice sessions. The BMW M4 GT3 was unable to match the speed of the front-runners here. In Sunday's qualifying, I actually had a good lap, but still had about a one-second deficit. That says it all. I managed to gain some positions in the races starting from the back, but it's simply not enough for the front.”

 

Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Project 1): “Since we couldn't test at the Sachsenring beforehand, we had a lack of experience from the beginning, especially since I've never raced at the Sachsenring before. Additionally, we had a technical issue in the first practice session, costing us valuable test kilometres. The lack of experience was particularly evident in the qualifying sessions. In the races, I managed to make up some positions and earn points on Sunday. Given the circumstances, it's a decent result for this weekend, but it's not my overall expectation. I hope that at the remaining weekends at Spielberg and Hockenheim, where we have more experience, we'll perform better and potentially achieve a highlight this season.”

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