It was a case of striking gold for the second time in two visits to the Free State Goldfields for Kelvin van der Linde when the 15-year-old circuit racing phenomenon scored his fourth successive back-to-back victories in the Northern Regions Goldwagen Challenge (class B) on Saturday in his Ferodo/Autoquip Volkswagen Golf 1.
The eldest son of former South African touring car champion Shaun scored his debut win in senior circuit racing at the age of just 14 at Phakisa Freeway near Welkom in the opening round of the Goldwagen Challenge in February. Last weekend he returned to the scene of his historic triumph to repeat his success in the seventh round and take his tally of class wins for the series so far to 10 from 12 races.
His points total of 128 – 46 ahead of his nearest rival Andrea Bate – has virtually secured him the class B championship and he maintains his lead in the overall championship (classes A, B, C and D combined) by 12 points from class C leader Andre Needham.
Seasoned observers are becoming used to the young Van der Linde’s trademark performances – polished and purposeful and delivered with a skill and maturity that belies his tender age.
Last weekend the Dainfern College grade 9 student was quickest in qualifying, chose to start the opening eight-lap race (for classes B and D combined) from the back of the grid to gain experience, beat Andre Bate (VW Golf 1) into second place by nearly five seconds and set the fastest lap of the race by over a second.
In race two, with a combined field of 46 cars from all four classes, he finished sixth overall, first in class B and ahead of seven class A competitors. Remarkably, he also set the fastest lap of the race by any competitor, irrespective of class.
Van der Linde is also contesting the Engen Volkswagen Cup national championship, part of the WesBank Super Series, where he is currently an impressive third in the points standings in his first season of senior circuit racing.
He will next be in action at the sixth round of the WesBank Super Series at the historic former world championship grand prix circuit in East London on September 3.
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.