Van der Linde “laughs” at GT3 specialist advantage in DTM
Audi driver Kelvin van der Linde says that he has to “laugh” at evidence of an early advantage of the GT3 specialists in the new era of the DTM and that he expects the series veterans to immediately have their finger on the pulse.
The starting field of the DTM 2021 is essentially divided into two groups, with the drivers remaining in the championship after the change from Class One vehicles, followed by a large number of newcomers, many of whom bring their extensive knowledge of GT3 vehicles with them.
The two-time DTM vice world champion Nico Müller said he believed it would be “hard to beat”, GT3 regular players “who contest 30 or more races in these cars every year,” while Timo Glock was quoted as saying that he felt feel like a “rookie”. “For its 10th straight season in the category.
Abt Sportsline recruit van der Linde is one of the drivers who has spent most of his professional career in the Audi R8 LMS, but the level of the long-time DTM drivers is so high that they could adapt to GT3 cars in no time.
“I have to laugh every time I hear it, because I hear it a lot from my team at the moment,” said van der Linde when asked by Motorsport.com whether he shares the opinion of drivers like Glock and Müller.
“You can’t make it into the DTM if you’re not a world class driver. All the boys, Timo, Mike [Rockenfeller], all ex-DTM drivers and even my brother [Sheldon, who is driving for Rowe Racing BMW] tried to play [his chances] Low.
“I think they are all world class drivers, they will keep the pace at Monza, I’m 100 percent sure of that and they will have a good fight.
“It sure looks good for us on paper, I’m not going to lie. But at the end of the day it still drives, it has four wheels, it has a steering wheel. So yeah, grow a few balls and there you go, guys. “
Glock started the first two races of the GT World Challenge Europe season with Team Walkenhorst with the BMW M6 GT3 and secured a top 10 placement with Paul Ricard.
His GT3 experience before this year is very limited, however, as the ex-Formula 1 driver only made two races with BMW at the Bathurst 12 Hours between 2017 and 18.
Glock is firmly convinced that drivers with extensive GT3 experience will be at the forefront at the start of the new DTM season and feels that his own preparation is hampered by the fact that his Rowe team only brings one car to the test at Hockenheim and skip the last day of the Lausitzring race.
“I shared the car with me at Hockenheim [teammate] So Sheldon didn’t spend a lot of time in the car, and then we had a little technical problem on the first day at the Lausitzring, ”he said.
“So in the end, let’s say, I had a day and a half to two days in the car and that’s really that. So there is still a lot to learn.
“Even Kelvin doesn’t really agree with that, but I think it’s still an advantage for the drivers who are used to GT3 cars because they know blindly, they know what to do.
“For me it is still a learning process how far I can go, where is the limit when it comes to ABS braking and such, traction control.
“With the short time we have on Friday, 45 minutes, [the two] free training sessions last 45 minutes [each], it is not much. But here, too, it is a learning process and in the end we will find a way to keep up to date. “