Hockenheim - South African Sheldon van der Linde overcame a challenging weekend to clinch a podium place in the Audi Sport TT Cup finale at the Hockenheimring in Germany this weekend, while IOL senior writer Jesse Adams took part as a guest racer and clinched his own podium within that category.
Van der Linde endured a difficult qualifying session and ended up in an unusually low ninth on the grid. Afterwards the team changed the differential and adjusted the rear wheels’ camber angles, and the first race then saw his fortunes change as the 17-year-old climbed his way up to third place, while also setting the fastest lap along the way.
The first race was won by Finnish driver Joonas Lappalainen with Denmark’s Nicklas Nielsen taking second spot. In race two Germany’s Dennis Marschall crossed the line first ahead of Nielsen and Lappalainen, with Van der Linde in fourth.
When all the points were tallied, Van der Linde emerged in second place in the Rookie Championship and was fourth overall. “I learned so much this year,” the young gun commented. “I truly appreciate everything that everyone has done for me and especially all the support from back home. Now I'm looking forward to coming back stronger then ever next year - bring it on!”
Jesse Adams enjoyed a strong start to the weekend, coming second in the guest driver’s challenge in the first race and 13th overall, but struggled in the second race after being bumped at the start. This knocked his TT’s alignment out, making it difficult to keep the car straight and eventually he spun the car, gifting the last guest podium position to Australian Drew Ridge, although Adams still managed 15th position overall.
“It was a frustrating race,” Adams said after the second heat. “I was able to keep a good pace, but but the car squirmed a lot under braking. I lost it going into turn 8 and watched Ridge go by with two laps to go. Still it was an amazing experience to compete on an international stage against some of the best budding touring car racers in the world.”
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