South African racing driver Sheldon van der Linde has been announced as an official BMW DTM driver for the 2019 season.
The 19-year-old, who graduates from the ADAC GT Masters series, was one of four drivers to sample BMW’s M4 DTM car during the three-day test at the Spanish Jerez de la Frontera test last December.
Following the shootout, he successfully saw off the challenge of Nick Catsburg, Nick Yelloly and Mikkel Jensen to earn the coveted fourth and final berth with Team RBM.
Van der Linde’s appointment fills all six BMW seats, and sees him join Philipp Eng, Joel Eriksson, Timo Glock, Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann as an official driver for the Munich marque.
“Coming from GT3, my first taste of a DTM car was quite a big step for me,” Van der Linde admitted after his test at Jerez last year.
“But I loved every moment. Compared to what I’ve been used to, the downforce on these cars is incredible – I had a lot of fun during the test. It was very cool.
“It’s been my dream to become a DTM driver. This is a big step – BMW only had one seat on offer, so the pressure to perform was really high.”
Van der Linde will become the first South African to race in DTM.