Former Mini Max national karting champion Kelvin van der Linde (Vanderlinde Developments Birel) added the Junior Rok title to his list of achievements when he completed a convincing performance in the final round of the 2010 Engen SA Karting Championship at Vereeniging’s Bridgestone Adrenaline Raceway on Saturday.
The 14-year-old third generation Van der Linde South African motor sport champion, who entered the final round four points behind the championship leader Matthew Swanepoel and one behind Raoul Hyman, won the first two heats and was third in the final race, taking the overall win for the day from Chad Maciver and Morgan McColl. Swanepoel, with a third, a second and a non-finish, was fourth overall for the day, while Hyman scored a fourth, a 10th and a seventh to finish eighth overall for the day.
Van der Linde is a worthy champion, having won four of the season’s 12 races and finishing on the podium seven times. His worst result was seventh and his total points before deducting his two worst scores was 370, 31 more than his nearest rival. Swanepoel finishes the season second, 13 points behind Van der Linde and eight ahead of Hyman.
Qualifying on Friday saw Van der Linde finish fourth, 0,2 seconds off pole position and with both championship rivals finishing ahead of him, Swanepoel on pole and Hyman second with the same time. The closeness of the Junior Rok competition is illustrated by the fact that the top 10 on the grid were covered by less than a second.
Sheldon van der Linde, 11-year-old younger brother of the new champion, enjoyed a successful debut in the fledgling Mini Rok class, categorised as a challenge this year and likely to be a championship in 2011. The 2008 GP Junior champion qualified second, just 0,06 sec off pole position, and finished second in each of the three races in his Vanderlinde Developments Birel.
This weekend (October 2 and 3) the two Van der Linde brothers will be hoping to repeat their historic feat when they both won their first karting championships in 2008 and made it three generations of champions in the Van der Linde family. They are both in contention for their respective class championships in the final round of the South African Rotax Max Challenge at Zwartkops Raceway west of Pretoria.
To date the Van der Linde family has won an amazing total of 14 national championships over three decades. Grandfather, Hennie, won the national saloon car championship three times, from 1984 to 1986. Father Shaun won the 1992 Formula GTi championship, the 1994 touring car championship and the production car championship in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Uncle Etienne was the 1994 Formula Vee champion, 1995 Formula GTi champion and also won class A of the production car championship in 2003. He is the only Van der Linde to have won international titles, the German and European Formula Opel Championships in 1998. So far Kelvin has two karting titles and Sheldon one.
Issued on behalf of Vanderlinde Racing by Peter Burroughes Communications. For further information, please contact Peter Burroughes, tel 082 899 0101, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.