Managing tires, key to Sheldon Van der Linde’s success at Lausitzring

Managing tires, key to Sheldon Van der Linde’s success at Lausitzring

Sheldon Van der Linde has been the great protagonist of the DTM weekend at Lausitzring. The South African driver took victory in Saturday’s race, the first for the BMW M4 GT3 in the series. Spurred on by this win, Van der Linde took pole position on Sunday and used his starting position to achieve success in moto two. A majestic performance by the Schubert Motorsport driveramong other things because AVL as the company in charge of the ‘Balance of Performance’ made a performance adjustment that limited the turbo of the BMW for Sunday.

Nevertheless, Sheldon Van der Linde believes that the key to his success at Lausitzring was in tire management, since tire wear was one of the critical points in Sunday’s race. Taking into account the lower performance of the BMW M4 GT3 due to the adjustments of the ‘BoP’ and that it made its stop on lap 9, the South African driver had to carry out a real tire management exercise to stay in the lead against an incisive Maro Engel who finished 347 thousandths behind the BMW driver.

Maro Engel put Sheldon Van der Linde in a tight spot during Sunday’s race.

Sheldon Van der Linde he closed the race with almost 30 laps on his tires, which almost led to disaster in the last five laps: «The rear tires were sinking completely. It was a big concern throughout the race. I tried to drive it early after the pit stop, because I knew the second stint was going to be very long. We all went to the pits very early to avoid being overtaken some of the cars that were behind and that had opted for a more risky strategy ».

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«I knew I had to take care of the tyre, but at the same time keep the advantage with Maro Engel. It was difficult. We have a light system on the driver display and I saw more lights than I had seen. It looked like a Christmas tree! I don’t know how we managed to do it, but luckily it worked out» added Sheldon Van der Linde, the new leader of the DTM with 66 points, fifteen points more than Mirko Bortolotti has after adding two sixth places in the two races held at the Lausitzring.

“Although I have achieved this good performance, Lausitzring is still not among my favorite circuits. However, here we get the results and I don’t have an answer for it. It is a circuit that has always been good to me, every year we do well. Here I achieved my first podium in the DTM in 2020 and last year I took pole. I don’t know what it is, I can’t tell. Although it is clear that if I knew, I would not reveal my secrets either », Van der Linde has concluded.

Photos: DTM