Junior Rok title contender Kelvin van der Linde (Birel) finished second overall for the day in the third round of the Engen Supa Kart national championships at Killarney in Cape Town on Sunday.
Although the results – second in race one, seventh in race two and fifth in race three – weren’t what he had hoped for, the 14-year-old from Dainfern in Gauteng had a better weekend than his main championship rivals and now leads the Junior Rok class on gross accumulated points.
Championship leader at the start of the weekend (by a single point from Van der Linde) Raoul Hyman finished 10th overall while third-placed Matthew Swanepoel was eighth. However, when taking into account the mandatory deduction of each driver’s two worst scores, Van der Linde now finds himself in third place behind new championship leader Swanepoel and Hyman. Both are able to drop lower worst scores than Van der Linde
“With both Raoul and Matthew having problems in Cape Town, we missed a great opportunity to take over the championship lead,” said Van der Linde. “Unfortunately, we had a bad weekend, too. We struggled for pace in Saturday’s practice sessions and, thanks to the rain on Sunday morning, we were able to take third place in qualifying for the first race. This was also run in wet conditions, which I enjoy, and this helped us to take a second place.”
Van der Linde led from the end of the first lap but was unable to hold off the Birel of a resurgent Jordan Pepper, who took the lead on lap 10 of the 15-lapper. Third was Michael Taylor (TonyKart).
The track dried out as the day wore on and Van der Linde battled to make an impression in the next two races, which were won by Pepper and Swanepoel respectively. “We just didn’t have the pace on the day and, although I tried really hard, I have to say I’m disappointed we didn’t do better.” The fourth and final round of the championships is at Vereeniging’s Bridgestone Adrenaline Raceway on September 25.
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