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PressClub South Africa · Article.

SA's Sheldon van der Linde is the 2022 DTM champion!

A perfect and emotionally-charged conclusion to the DTM season for the BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers! Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) finished third in the final race at the Hockenheimring (GER) to claim the championship – one day after his Schubert Motorsport team had secured the team title.

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Hockenheim. A perfect and emotionally-charged conclusion to the DTM season for the BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers! Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) finished third in the final race at the Hockenheimring (GER) to claim the championship – one day after his Schubert Motorsport team had secured the team title. Van der Linde is the first-ever DTM champion from South Africa and the first BMW winner since Marco Wittmann (GER) 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. On Saturday, he overcame a grid penalty to battle his way up from 16th to second place. He claimed fifth on the grid on Sunday 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 Sunday’s 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 (AUT) retired due to tyre problems on Sunday. He completed the season in 14th position in the drivers’ standings, with 64 points. Leon Köhler (GER) 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.


Reactions to Sunday’s race in Hockenheim.


Franciscus van Meel (CEO BMW M GmbH): “What a superb day for the entire BMW M Motorsport family! Congratulations to Sheldon van der Linde and Schubert for winning the team and drivers’ championships! Everyone involved – the team, the drivers and the car – delivered fantastic performances throughout the season and deserved this triumph. It is a very emotional day for us all. Even more so, as Marco Wittmann also managed to win the final race. Seeing him and Sheldon celebrating together like that on the podium shows how well everyone gets on in the BMW M Motorsport family. Now we can celebrate!”


Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “Unbelievable, incredible, epic! It is just fantastic to see what Schubert Motorsport, our drivers and the BMW M4 GT3 have achieved together this year. Huge congrats to Sheldon van der Linde for his great performance this season. Many congratulations are in order for the team led by Torsten Schubert and for our BMW M Motorsport employees at home as well. In its first year, BMW M4 GT3 showed just what a powerful car it is. I am delighted for everyone involved in this project. I am particularly pleased that Marco Wittmann was able to round off a personally disappointing season with a highlight. Third place on Saturday, victory on Sunday - these results are sure to give him a lift when preparing for the 2023 season.”


Torsten Schubert (Schubert Motorsport Team Principal): “This success would not have been possible without the superb, strong team behind Schubert Motorsport. I am not just referring to the fantastic crew on-site, but many more supporters who help us behind the scenes and make it possible for us to keep all this going. I would like to thank everyone, my team, BMW M Motorsport for their excellent support, and our two drivers, Sheldon van der Linde and Philipp Eng for their fantastic performances.”


Sheldon van der Linde (#31 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “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!”


Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “Firstly, congratulations to Sheldon and the Schubert team for winning the team and drivers’ titles. They had a fantastic season that they can really be proud of. Both titles are very well-deserved. From my point of view, it is an unbelievably good feeling to end the season like this. It was a hard year for the team and for me. Some weekends, it was tough to see that we just didn’t have the performance. That’s why it was all the more important for everyone in the team to finish the season on a successful note and hopefully we can take this momentum into the next season.”


Philipp Eng (#25 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “It’s not about me today, but all about Sheldon, the Schubert team and BMW M Motorsport. I am so happy for everyone now that they have secured this great result, and I am very proud of all the performances. Schubert Motorsport had some tough times in recent years. The last BMW title in the DTM came six years ago. That makes this a very important day for the entire BMW M Motorsport family. It has not been a particularly easy year for me. My speed was often good, but I had so much bad luck. But that is not what we are focusing on today.”

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