Kelvin van der Linde is regarded as an absolute exceptional in GT3 racing, but wants to get rid of this reputation: Two paths the Audi driver could take
“My idea is to broaden my horizons a bit,” Van der Linde could imagine two paths: One is to enter prototype racing with a hypercar or LMDh manufacturer, the other is a Formula E commitment.
The former could have come about through Audi’s Le Mans comeback, which was originally announced but then scrapped. “One of my core values has always been loyalty and I have spent my whole career with Audi,” van der Linde emphasises. After all, he was involved in the development of the Ingolstadt LMDh racer.
Kelvin van der Linde’s options: LMH/LMDh or Formula E
“We had our eye on the LMDh programme, and then when that was paused, the plan was also a bit buried for us, because we had put all our energy into that programme. I was involved a lot in the simulator, so by that time I was really involved in the project and it was looking good,” he says.
Van der Linde prepared for this not only in the simulator, but also on the race track. Together with Phoenix Racing, he contested two races in an Oreca LMP2 in the Asian Le Mans Series in February 2021. Together with Simon Trummer and Matthias Kaiser, van der Linde took fourth and third places.
“I raced against a lot of good guys in the Asian Le Mans Series in the LMP2 class and proved myself there – but unfortunately the road hasn’t led in that direction yet,” van der Linde laments. And his other option, the path to Formula E? Here, his current DTM employer Abt would be the ideal place to start.
Kelvin van der Linde: “I see a future with Abt “
The “Abbots” will compete in the electric racing series with drive trains from Mahindra in future. Van der Linde confident: “I have a good connection with Abt, I also see a future with Abt. They just announced their Formula E programme, so there’s definitely a future there, a long-term vision to stay in partnership with Mahindra.”
But next season, former DTM drivers Nico Müller and Robin Frijns will be competing for Abt in Formula E, while it looks more like a DTM future for van der Linde.
Winning the championship in this series like his brother Sheldon van der Linde is one of the South African’s big career goals. In GT3 racing, Kelvin van der Linde has won two championship titles in the ADAC GT Masters and two overall victories in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, both with Audi.