Kelvin van der Linde will debut in the Formula E World Championship on the second race weekend of the new 2023 season in Diriyah (Saudi Arabia) with ABT CUPRA. The 26-year-old South African will replace works driver Robin Frijns in the No. 4 car for both races following Frijns’ temporary withdrawal following a hand injury.
“We are in regular contact with Robin and we wish him a speedy recovery. Although he is greatly missed by everyone on the team, we are giving him all the time he needs to fully recover from his injury, it is our top priority. », said ABT CUPRA Team Boss Thomas Biermaier. Robin Frijns broke his left arm in a crash during the first round of the Mexico City 2023 E-Prix and underwent surgery the same evening in Mexico.
“Kelvin has been part of the ABT family for years in various roles. He has been involved since the start of our return project and was recognized as a reserve pilot from the beginning, so it was immediately clear to us that he would take the cockpit of Robin. The job and the challenge for him to start the world championship race without any test is definitely big. But Kelvin is very motivated, he works hard and the whole team will support him without any pressure.”, explains Biermaier. Since Sunday’s decision, van der Linde, who also lives in Kempten, has spent every day from morning to evening at ABT. On the program: regulations, race car manual, data analysis and many hours in the simulator.
“Formula E racing is my dream – but of course I wanted the environment for my debut to be different. I’m sorry Robin and I hope he’ll be back in shape soon. », said Kelvin van der Linde. The young driver competed for ABT in the DTM in 2021 and 2022 and was a title contender until the end of his first season. He has also had a taste of Formula E: in 2020 he completed a test day in Marrakech and competed in the Formula E simulator series during the pandemic. It also supports ABT CUPRA in simulator production this season. “I’m excited about the courage and the challenge. Now I have a few days ahead of me and I’ll do my best to replace Robin as best I can. »added Kelvin van der Linde.
The two races in Saudi Arabia will be held on January 27 and 28, 2023 in Diriyah, a suburb of the capital Riyadh.