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Overall win and Junior triumph for van der Linde

2018/09/24 Source ADAC GT Masters

Sheldon van der Linde not only registered his fourth Pirelli Junior win in succession but also a victory in the general classification.

Sharing the cockpit of an Audi R8 LMS with his brother and Montaplast by Land-Motorsport co driver Kelvin, Sheldon van der Linde won the 14th and final race of the 2018 ADAC GT Masters. In the closing stages, he overtook the Lamborghini of Rolf Ineichen, which had led for most of the race, and subsequently crossed the finish line by a clear margin of 2.2 seconds. Despite Sunday’s victory, the brothers van der Linde missed out in the title battle by a single championship point.

“The race was very good,” said Sheldon van der Linde afterwards. “I wasn’t expecting to win either race this weekend. It obviously hurts to lose the championship by just a single point, but we at least won the race. For that reason, we are delighted. I am very satisfied with my first season in the ADAC GT Masters. We gave it everything we’d got.”

In the Pirelli Junior competition, Indy Dontje was Sheldon van der Linde’s closest pursuer. He and his Mann-Filter Team HTP partner Maximilian Buhk driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished third in the general classification on the day. In the second half of the race, Dontje overtook Mikkel Jensen in the BMW M6 GT3 (BMW Team Schnitzer). The Dane took third place in the Pirelli Junior class.

Winner in the Pirelli Trophy stakes was Switzerland’s Rolf Ineichen who finished as runner-up in the general classification. After taking over at the wheel of the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Hurac├ín GT3 from team-mate Christian Engelhart, he led the field for much of the race but eventually lost out to the van der Linde brothers.

After the race, it became apparent just how fair a sportsman Ineichen is: “I could have shut the door when he made his overtaking move, and at the beginning of the season, we would certainly have fought back harder. But I couldn’t be sure whether Sheldon was fighting for the championship, and so I left the way open.” Speaking about the excellent performance of his team-mate in the first half of the race, he said: “They should actually rename this circuit the Christianring. He is so strong here, and he showed it again today. I am very proud of him.”

In both the Pirelli Junior and the Pirelli Trophy championships, the destination of the titles was already decided on Saturday. Sheldon van der Linde won the Junior classification, while Swiss Audi driver Remo Lips prevailed in the Pirelli Trophy for amateur drivers for the third time in a row.