Despite their young age, both are “old hands” when it comes to GT3 racing and the Audi R8 LMS. Kelvin van der Linde is already entering his tenth season with the Audi brand’s successful GT3 race car. With the R8, the South African has twice won the ADAC GT Masters and the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring two times. In 2021, Kelvin van der Linde narrowly missed the title in his first year in DTM.
Ricardo Feller won the ADAC GT Masters as a 21-year-old with the Audi R8 LMS in 2021 and stood on the top step of the podium for the first time in his first DTM season in 2022 after just three race weekends.
Thomas Biermaier: “Kelvin and Ricardo are among the fastest GT3 drivers in the world”
“Kelvin and Ricardo are among the fastest GT3 drivers in the world,” says Thomas Biermaier, CEO of ABT Sportsline. “They got on very well with us from day one and work perfectly together. What’s more, they are cool guys who fit in well with ABT Sportsline. And they have a lot of experience with the DTM’s new tyre partner, which is a factor that should not be underestimated. I’m sure that with Kelvin and Ricardo, we can continue our success story in the DTM.”
The ABT Sportsline DTM squad completely stripped down the two Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II cars during the winter break and brought them up to date. Within the team itself, several key positions have been re-staffed.
Kelvin van der Linde: “Extremely looking forward to my third season”
“I am extremely looking forward to my third season with ABT in the DTM and working with Ricardo as a teammate,” says Kelvin van der Linde. “At the end of last season, we showed our potential. I believe that with the new crew around me we can really attack this year and look forward to good results.”
Ricardo Feller: “I think we are in a very good position”
“I hope we can build on the success we had at the beginning of last year,” says Ricardo Feller. “In any case, I’m really looking forward to starting my second DTM season with Scherer Sport and ABT Sportsline. I’m ready for the new challenge and believe we’re very well positioned – also with my teammate Kelvin.”
The new DTM season begins for Kelvin van der Linde and Ricardo Feller as early as the end of this week with two days of testing in Italy. At this test, ABT Sportsline will also be using the new fuel for the first time – the new fuel that is mandatory in the 2023 DTM season. It consists of 50 percent sustainable components and, according to the manufacturer, reduces CO2 emissions by at least 20 percent.
2023 is already ABT Sportsline’s 24th DTM season in conjunction with the Audi brand. Since 2000, ABT Sportsline has contested a total of 301 DTM races with the TT-R, A4 DTM, A5 DTM, RS 5 DTM and R8 LMS. With 238 podiums, 73 victories and five drivers’ titles, ABT Sportsline is the most successful active DTM team. In 16 of the 23 years, at least one driver from the team finished in the top 3 of the overall standings.
Hans-Jürgen Abt: “ABT, Audi and the DTM – they simply belong together”
“We also had other options, but ABT, Audi and the DTM – they simply belong together,” says Hans-Jürgen Abt, CEO of ABT SE. “Audi Sport GmbH is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The DTM title would be a cool present.”
Harry Unflath: “The DTM continues to have great appeal”
Joining ABT Sportsline in the title hunt are no fewer than 13 renowned companies. “DTM continues to have great appeal and is now part of the largest automobile club in Europe with more than 21 million members,” says a delighted Harry Unflath, Head of ABT Sports Marketing. “Our partners appreciate this just as much as the ADAC’s initiatives to make the DTM more sustainable.”
The new DTM season kicks off on May 27/28 at Oschersleben. A total of eight events with two races each in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are on the schedule. ProSieben will again show all of the races live on free TV this year.