Montaplast by Land-Motorsport will tackle the 2018 ADAC GT Masters campaign with two former champions and two young drivers. The 2016 title winner, Christopher Mies, will have a new team-mate, Alessio Picariello.
The two brothers, Kelvin van der Linde and Sheldon van der Linde will share the team’s second Audi R8 LMS for the first time. Kelvin won the championship in 2014.
Christopher Mies will be lining up for his third season with Montaplast by Land-Motorsport and will partner Alessio Picariello during 2018. The Belgian, last year’s winner of the Asian Audi R8 LMS Cup, replaces Connor De Phillippi, with whom Mies won the ADAC GT Masters title in 2016 and finished third overall in 2017.
“Alessio has achieved a great deal of success in Asia, really knows the Audi R8 LMS and was top of my list of ‘dream’ team-mates after Connor De Phillippi switched brands,” says Mies. “I’m highly delighted and am looking forward to the season. I think we’ve got a very strong team and two very strong cars.”
Picariello is already looking forward to his first full season in the ADAC GT Masters after his guest outing at the Sachsenring in 2017. For the Belgian, it also means a return to the ADAC platform. Picariello is a product of the ADAC’s successful school for trainee formula racing drivers and won the Formel ADAC in 2013 with Mücke Motorsport.
“I’m really looking forward to competing in what is probably the best GT3 championship series in the world, especially with an outfit like Montaplast by Land-Motorsport which has proved to be one of the strongest,” says Picariello. “I’ve known Christopher Mies for some two years now. I won my first GT3 race with him. I aim to learn as much as possible from him and the team, but let’s be honest, with such a team and team-mates, you have to aim really high. As always, consistency will be important, but as the standard is so high, we need to win and secure plenty of podiums if we want to have a chance in the fight for the title.”
The outfit’s second Audi R8 LMS will be driven by two newcomers to the team. Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde are the eighth pair of brothers to share a car in the ADAC GT Masters. They lined up together last year in an Audi R8 LMS at the Sachsenring but with a different team.
“We’ve been dreaming of sharing a car as brothers for years. We’ve set ourselves just one major task, to bring the title back to Niederdreisbach,” says Kelvin van der Linde, who became the youngest ever champion in the ADAC GT Masters in 2014.
His brother Sheldon finished third in the ADAC TCR Germany in 2017 and is also keen for the season to get started: “I’m very grateful to Montaplast and Land-Motorsport for giving me this opportunity. Driving for this team in the ADAC GT Masters and with my brother is a dream I never expected to come true. I’m really looking forward to April and Oschersleben.”