Sheldon van der Linde wins 2022 DTM championship

South African wins DTM championship

South African Sheldon van der Linde held his nerve at the DTM season finale in Hockenheim and in doing so managed to secure the 2022 DTM driver’s championship. In doing so Van der Linde became the first ever South African DTM champion and the first BMW champion in the series since 2016. Van der Linde’s team, Schubert motorsport were also able to secure the 2022 DTM constructors championship.

It was however not plain sailing during the last race weekend. On the Saturday Van der Linde had to overcome a grid penalty and battle his way up from 16th to an eventual second place. He claimed fifth on the grid on Sunday and followed this up by finishing third after a faultless race. The result was that Van der Linde finished the season on 164 points, which put him 11 points clear of Lucas Auer in second place. During his fourth season in DTM Van der Linde celebrated three wins and a total of six podiums.

“It was a superb day for the entire BMW M Motorsport family. Congratulations to Sheldon van der Linde and Schubert for winning both the driver and team championships. Everyone involved, including the team, the drivers and the car delivered fantastic performances throughout the season and deserved this triumph,” said Franciscus van Meel, CEO BMW M.

“The pressure of going in to the last weekend as the championship leader was massive. It feels fantastic now that this weight is off my shoulders. Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed about driving in DTM. I am unbelievably proud and delighted that I have won it. Growing up in South Africa, making the leap to the DTM seemed a very long way away. But now it has all worked out, I can barely believe it,” said Sheldon van der Linde.

BMW and South Africa have always had a special relationship when it comes to motorsport. BMW opened their first plant outside Germany in South Africa in 1973. At the Rosslyn plant, the BMW 530 MLE was born in 1976, which is widely seen as one of the early steps in the history of BMW Motorsport. Nelson Piquet won the World Championship title in the final Formula One race of the 1983 season at Kyalami, the first Formula one title for BMW and the first for a car with a turbocharged engine.

BMW competes in the DTM championship with the M4 DTM. The car features a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that is able to rev to 9 500rpm and produces up to 470kW. A sequential six-speed sports transmission with pneumatic operation allows for gearshifts from the steering wheel.

The entire car weighs just 1070kg with the driver in it. The chassis features a CFRP monocoque with integrated tank and steel rollover protection structure, CFRP crash elements at the side, the front and the rear.