Coming in first place after a flawless performance, the South African made history to become the first ever African to win at the famed and treacherous Nurburgring 24 Hour. It was, of course ,a team effort with his co-drivers Christpher Mies, Markus Winkelhock and Connor De Phillippi and him completing the 158 laps in the Audi R8 LMS to take overall victory.
Van der Linde had led for 125 laps, and over 3100 kilometres when the car suddenly developed a sensor issue and a pitstop was needed. The team then fell back to 3rd position. Number 29’s bad luck continued as Van der Linde was once again was forced into the pits due to a botched fuel stop. This time, as fate would have it, a risky tyre choice had to be made. It was this tyre choice, and a stellar drive from the young South African that saw him take the lead in dramatic fashion as the leading Audi pitted for wet rubber. This all happened with just one lap to go.
Van der Linde, Winkelhock, de Phillippi and Mies’ Land Audi R8 LMS ultimately completed 158 laps to dramatically beat Richard Westbrook, Markus Palttala, Nicky Catsburg and Alexander Sims’ BMW M6 GT3 by 29 seconds, with Robin Frijns, Marcel Fässler, René Rast and Nico Müller third in another Audi R8 LMS. It was the Land team, van der Linde and De Phillippi’s first; Christopher Mies’s second, Markus Winkelhock’s third and Audi’s fourth Nurburgring 24 victory.
The Van der Linde family have been prominent ambassadors for SA motorsport, and we at SA Car Fan would like to congratulate them on this epic victory.
Nurburgring 24 Hour Results
1: Van der Linde/Winkelhock/de Phillippi/Mies (Audi R8 LMS) 158 laps
2: Westbrook/Palttala/Catsburg/Sims (BMW M6 GT3) +29.418
3: Frijns/Fässler/Rast/Müller (Audi R8 LMS) +50.622
4: Farfus/Wittmann/Blomqvist/Tomczyk (BMW M6 GT3) +6’54.159
5: Engel/Christodoulou/Buurman/Metzger (Mercedes-AMG GT3) +7’10.835
6: Christensen/Siedler/Luhr/Bachler (Porsche 911 GT3 R) +1 lap
7: Krumbach/Keilwitz/Weiss/Kainz (Ferrari 488 GT3) +1 lap
8: Seefried /Imperatori/Dusseldorp/Dumbreck (BMW M6 GT3) +1 lap
9: Van der Zanden/Götz/Arnold/Alzen (Mercedes-AMG GT3) +1 lap
10: Martin/Basseng/Eng/Sims (BMW M6 GT3) +1 lap