ABT Sportsline conquers the top of the DTM standings

ABT Sportsline took the top spot in the DTM standings with a strong performance at the Lausitzring – in both classifications. Kelvin van der Linde took the lead in the drivers’ standings with a victory and a second place. Ricardo Feller is only ten points behind his team-mate in third place in the standings. ABT Sportsline has a 22-point lead in the team standings after four races.

For ABT Sportsline, it was the most successful DTM weekend since the beginning of the GT3 era with one victory and two further podium finishes. The last time the team won as many trophies as at the Lausitzring was in the 2020 season with the Audi RS 5 DTM.

The strong performance of both drivers is a welcome reward for the hard work of recent weeks. After a structural problem occurred in Kelvin van der Linde’s car at the season opener at Oschersleben, ABT Sportsline completely rebuilt the ABT Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II. The entire team was relieved when Kelvin van der Linde was able to take the lead in the first free practice session on Friday and called it a ‘perfect car’.

In Qualifying on Saturday, van der Linde took pole position. In the race, the South African, who lives near Kempten, set the pace right from the start. Even capricious weather with heavy rain and two red flags did not throw the ABT driver off his stride: he was not to be denied the sixth victory of his DTM career.

On Sunday, van der Linde fought his way to second place despite 20 kilograms of extra weight on board his ABT Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II. Only title defender Thomas Preining in the Porsche was a tick faster.

Both Lausitzring races were unfortunate for Ricardo Feller. On Saturday, he handed ABT a one-two lead right after the start. A late change to wet tyres dropped Feller back to 14th. With an impressive comeback drive in difficult conditions, the Swiss driver fought his way up to fifth despite a penalty lap.

On Sunday, Feller had justified hopes of victory after spectacularly overtaking pole-setter Thomas Preining’s Porsche on the fourth lap and leading the field by a clear margin. After his pit stop, however, Feller dropped back to third place in a spectacular three-way battle with Preining and van der Linde.

Martin Tomczyk (ABT Motorsport Director): “What a DTM weekend for ABT Sportsline! Trophies for a win, a second and a third place in one weekend don’t come along very often in our sport. On top of that, first and third place in the championship and the lead in the team standings – I’m incredibly proud of the entire team, which worked very hard after Oschersleben. We knew that Kelvin is always strong at the Lausitzring. But Ricky also showed a great performance once again. Now comes the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring and then we’ll head to Zandvoort with a lot of confidence.”

Kelvin van der Linde (Saturday 1st/Sunday 2nd, 48 points): “I’m very satisfied. We scored a lot of points and took the lead in the championship. That shows the mega performance of the team. I’m very proud of everyone. Getting the car in perfect shape again after the difficult start to the season was not a matter of course and a great team effort. Ricky was also very fast all weekend. That’s why we’re also leading the team standings.”

Ricardo Feller (Saturday 5th/Sunday 3rd, 30 points): “It was a great weekend for the team. To take so many trophies back to Kempten is obviously nice. From my point of view, I’m not satisfied with how the races went here. But you have to look on the bright side: We were on the podium and scored important points for the championship again. So far, so good and we’ll be attacking again at Zandvoort.”