New Audi R8, new team for 2014 champ Kelvin van der Linde’s ADAC GT Masters attack

South African race ace Kelvin van der Linde has been confirmed as an Audi Customer Sport driver for Car Collection Racing in the German 2016 ADAC GT Masters championship. It is 2014 ADAC GT Masters champion Kelvin’s third season for Audi in the series and his first with Car Collection, which switches to Audi for 2016.

“I’m Very proud to join Car Collection for my third GT Masters season,” Kelvin confirmed. “My new teammate is the talented Isaac Tutumlu, who comes from a GT background and showed great promise with the Audi R8 in the 24 hours of Dubai earlier this year.”

Kelvin has enjoyed a meteoric race career starting with a pair of South African Karting Championships in 2008 and 2010 before moving up to the main circuit where he became SA’s youngest national champion in the Engen Volkswagen Polo Cup at just sixteen in 2012. Kelvin then went to Germany where he won the 2013 European Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup and grabbed Audi’s attention before promptly paying that off when the 18-year old took the 2014 ADAC GT Masters title driving an Audi R8.

Van der Linde will drive the all-new 2016 Audi R8 LMS this year following a difficult 2015 with the old car in its final season: “I have unfinished business in the GT Masters after the ups and downs of 2015,” Kelvin promised. “I’m in the best physical and mental condition to challenge at the front of the gird in 2016.”

The lighter, more streamlined, stiffer and safer new 440kW 5.2-litre V10 Audi R8 LMS with its latest-generation CFRP-enhanced aluminium Audi Space Frame and an all-new six-speed paddle shifter transmission won the Nürburgring 24-hour on its debut last year and has since won the 2016 Dubai 24 and Sepang 12-hour races and took a class win in the classic Daytona 24 Hours.

“Let’s just say that this year is a challenge accepted,” Kelvin concluded. “It’s no secret that the GT Masters will be one of 2016’s most competitive GT championships with even more world class names and manufactures coming to play — all I can add is bring it on!”

Kelvin will also race in the 2016 VLN series on the legendary Nurburgring Nordschliefe this year with team and car details for that campaign to be confirmed shortly.

Issued by Motorsport Media on behalf of Kelvin van der Linde