South African GT race star Kelvin van der Linde is set and ready for his third year of racing in the German ADAC GT Masters series. 2014 champion in his rookie year in the series, Kelvin switches to new Audi team Car Collection Racing for 2016 and heads to the 16-17 April Oschersleben season opener confident of a strong season ahead.
“I’m 100 percent ready for the new season,” Kelvin confirmed. “The new Audi R8 is a huge step forward and we are confident that we will be competitive.”
Indeed the new Audis filled the top four places in the GT Masters pre-season test at Oschersleben last week with Kelvin fifth on the second day, but the German-based South African refuses to become too excited at those results as he provided a most interesting insight into the test days. “We work very similarly to how they do in F1 testing nowadays,” Kelvin pointed out.
“But the balance of performance specs have not yet been accurately set for all cars on the grid due to the many new GT3 machines entering for 2016 and most teams were hiding their full potential, which made it almost impossible to read much into the lap times. “So our test results were really nothing special.”
“Internally we used the test as an opportunity to help our customer drivers to learn the new car and track and to have as much driving time as possible,” Kelvin explained. “Fellow factory driver Christopher and I therefore only did basic setup work and installation outings before handing over to our customer teammates. “Our job from there was to advise our teammates and observe operational systems within the new team with a view to see what could be improved for the race since Car Collection is new to GT Masters.
“So I left the test not much wiser than I was on Monday, but I have developed a great understanding, having made myself right at home in the new team environment and we are confident for the first race and the season ahead – I am so looking forward to it!”
Kelvin shares his all-new 440kW 5.2-litre V10 Car Collection Audi R8 LMS with Spanish driver Isaac Tutumlu-Lopez this year with the ADAC GT Masters commencing its eight round roadshow through Germany, Austria and Holland at Oschersleben 16-17 April with Qualifying 1 and race 1 Saturday and Quali 2 and race 2 on Sunday. The races will be live streamed with live timing also available via http://www.adac-gt-masters.de/uk/.
Image: Kelvin van der Linde and his much improved new Audi R8 LMS are all set for the new ADAC GT Masters season