Kelvin van der Linde, the 15-year-old motor racing phenomenon from Dainfern in Gauteng, strengthened his overall lead in the Northern Regions Goldwagen Challenge at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday. With just one round remaining, scheduled for Kyalami on November 12, he leads the championship by 18 points and needs just five more points to become the youngest-ever winner of the Goldwagen Challenge.
The grade nine student from Dainfern College, who is competing in his first season in senior circuit racing, wrapped up the class B championship in his Ferodo/Autoquip Volkswagen Golf 1 in the previous round at Phakisa Freeway in the Free State on August 13.
Last weekend he stepped up to class A and carried on the domination he has been enjoying in the lower class. He was quickest in qualifying, comfortably won both 10-lap races, setting the fastest lap in each in the process.
Second in race one, over five seconds in arrears, was George Economides (VW Golf), with Eddie Rodrigues third in a VW Polo. The teenager, leaving his much older rivals in his dust, took the chequered flag again in race two, over six seconds ahead of Economides, with Waldie Meintjies (VW Polo) third.
Van der Linde is a double national karting champion and graduated to senior circuit racing this year, when he was still 14 and the youngest driver competing at this level in the country. He is also contesting the national Engen Volkswagen Cup, a one-make series for drivers aged under 28 who compete in VW Polo Vivo production cars. He is currently lying third in that series with two rounds remaining, at Zwartkops on November 5 and at Kyalami on November 26.
Van der Linde is the eldest son of former circuit racing champion Shaun and grandson of former 1980s circuit racing champion Hennie.
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