Schubert Motorsport celebrates fourth DTM podium: Sheldon van der Linde finishes second at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday
Successful outing in the Ardennes for Schubert Motorsport at the sixth stop of the 2022 DTM season. The BMW M Motorsport team was once again in top form with their two BMW M4 GT3s at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps last weekend. After a challenging Saturday, Sheldon van der Linde and Philipp Eng made an impressive comeback in race two. The BMW factory drivers took second and seventh place, further extending Schubert Motorsport's lead in the team standings. Sheldon van der Linde also made up ground in the driver standings.
The South African laid the foundation for another top result on Sunday with second place in qualifying. On a damp track with an outside temperature of only 15 degrees Celsius, he put on slicks at the right moment and missed pole position by just 0.044 seconds with his personal fastest lap. Philipp Eng qualified 14th for the second race over the distance of 50 minutes and one lap.
At the race start, the two Schubert Motorsport drivers once again played to their strengths. Sheldon van der Linde took the lead in the first corner. Philipp Eng positioned himself perfectly as usual. The 32-year-old Austrian made up five places to return ninth from the opening lap. Sheldon van der Linde led the race confidently until his pit stop on the ninth lap. However, a problem on the front left tyre change cost him valuable seconds.
After the service, the 23-year-old engaged in a fierce battle for victory with Nick Cassidy. He didn't let the Ferrari driver's tough defence get the better of him and decided to drive home second place safely. Sheldon van der Linde mastered a late Full Course Yellow and a restart for the last lap of the race to secure a valuable 18 points for second place in addition to his two points for the qualifying result. Philipp Eng also drove a tactically astute race and finished seventh.
On Saturday, Schubert Motorsport had failed to get the maximum out of a wet qualifying session. Starting positions 22 and 23 offered Torsten Schubert's team a difficult starting position. In the first race, Philipp Eng had to retire early on the seventh lap due to technical difficulties. Sheldon van der Linde showed great fighting spirit and just missed out on the points in twelfth place.
In the team standings, Schubert Motorsport further extended their lead thanks to Sunday's success and is now 37 points ahead. Sheldon van der Linde has a cushion of 32 points in the driver standings with two events still to go. The next DTM race weekend is scheduled for 23-25 September at the Red Bull Ring.
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA)
BMW M4 GT3 - #31
Qualifying 1: P22 - Race 1: P12
Qualifying 2: P2 - Race 2: P2
Sheldon van der Linde: "Sunday went superbly for me. After failing to score on Saturday, I was actually able to extend my lead in the Drivers’ Championship – that is fantastic. I believe I could even have won the race, but unfortunately we lost some time in the pit stop. These things happen. Apart from that, the guys have done a fantastic job all year. When it came to the battle with Nick Cassidy, I was thinking about the points and did not try anything crazy. The championship obviously looks good for me, but I have always done well so far by simply focussing on the next race. I am not going to change that now."
Philipp Eng (AUT)
BMW M4 GT3 - #25
Qualifying 1: P23 - Race 1: DNF
Qualifying 2: P14 - Race 2: P7
Philipp Eng: "On the whole, that was a difficult weekend for me. On Saturday, I chose the wrong tyre pressure in qualifying which meant I had to start well down the field. I then had to retire from the race with a technical issue. The tyre pressure was right on Sunday. I then had a good start to the race, good pace in general, and a good restart after the yellow flags. Seventh place means some good points. I am now hoping for good results at my home event in Austria."
Team Manager Marcel Schmidt: "We had a promising start into the weekend, but the conditions on Saturday caught us on the wrong foot. Sheldon's recovery was great, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough for points. We are all the happier about our result in the second race. Sheldon did a great job again in qualifying and Philipp delivered his usual quality on the first lap. The time loss on the pit stop was a shame, but all in all, second place was probably the maximum for us in terms of performance. Sheldon acted wisely in the fight for the win and we are happy to take this team result with both cars. As a team, we have once again shown that we can stay calm and fulfil our potential even on difficult weekends."