Not for a long time has a young sportsman bridged the gap between junior and senior competition with the success and aplomb that 14-year-old Kelvin van der Linde has demonstrated in the rough and tumble of circuit motor racing.
The Dainfern College grade nine student, who is the youngest driver competing in senior circuit racing, has made class B of the Goldwagen Challenge his own in the first four rounds of this popular regional championship.
In the most recent round, at the Western Province Motor Club’s Killarney circuit in Cape Town, the former champion karter qualified on pole position, over a second faster than the next driver, won the opening nine-lap race by a clear 7,6 seconds and then blitzed the opposition in the second race with a whopping 13,2-second victory and a new class lap record.
The 2010 national Junior Rok karting champion unambiguously signalled his intentions on his senior circuit racing debut in the opening round of the Goldwagen Challenge at Phakisa Freeway in the Free State on February 19. It was an historic day for the well-known racing Van der Linde family, with Kelvin winning the first race of his senior career from pole position and emulating the achievement of his father Shaun in 1989 at the age of 19. Shaun van der Linde went on to win five national titles in Formula GTi, touring cars and production cars from 1992 to 2004 and represented South Africa in the FIA Touring Car World Cup at Donington in England in 2004.
He also competes in the national championship Engen Polo Cup in the under-28 class, where he is the youngest in the field. After the first three rounds, at Kyalami, Killarney and the Aldo Scribante circuit in Port Elizabeth, he has impressed with mature and skillful driving beyond his years. He is currently third in the championship and already has a podium finish to his credit after finishing a remarkable second in race two in PE.
With a grandfather (Hennie was a multiple national saloon car champion in the 1980s and is a renown car preparer), father and uncle (Etienne won national championships in karting, Formula Vee and Formula GTi in South Africa and in Formula Opel in Europe and Germany) who have all made their mark in the sport, it was not surprising that this dedicated and unassuming young man is now well on his way to adding to the already distinguished Van der Linde pedigree.
Younger brother Sheldon, who turned 12 on May 13 and is in grade 6 at Dainfern College, is the reigning national Rotax Max Mini Max champion and is contesting the Junior Rok national championship in 2011in a Ferodo/Autoquip Birel.
Kelvin van der Linde will be back in action at Phakisa Freeway in the Free State on June 4 in the fourth round of the national championship VW Cup.
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.