Kelvin a young driver to watch in 2012 (Feb 2012)

Following his phenomenal first year in senior circuit racing in 2011, when he became the youngest ever winner of the regional Goldwagen Challenge and finished third in the national Engen Volkswagen Cup, all at the ripe old age of 15, Johannesburg high school pupil Kelvin van der Linde is all set to continue rewriting the motor racing record books in 2012.

He has already got his 2012 season off to a fast start with back-to-back victories in the opening round of the latest Goldwagen Challenge at Phakisa Freeway in the Free State on February 18.  He has replaced his championship winning Ferodo/Autoquip VW Golf 1 with a newly liveried Ferodo/Autoquip VW Polo and was a convincing winner of class A in both races.

After winning the Rookie of the Year award in the 2011 Engen Volkswagen Cup, Van der Linde takes to the starting grid for the new national championship season at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday (March 3), when he lines up for the opening round of the Engen Volkswagen Cup in his Ferodo VW Polo as one of the favourites for the title.

Van der Linde’s mightily impressive first year in senior circuit racing saw him first make history by being the youngest driver ever to take to the grid – he was just 14.  He went on to complete a remarkable debut season in third place and scored four podium finishes and three second places.

A year older, wiser and certainly not bowed by the rough and tumble of the youthful and hotly contested series for production Volkswagen Polo Vivo hatchbacks, Van der Linde’s sights are firmly set on becoming the youngest ever winner of this title.

One of his biggest advantages is having in his corner two former national circuit racing champions in the form of father Shaun and grandfather Hennie.  While the star of the show is always the driver, motor racing is very much a team sport and the team preparing the car is a major factor in a driver’s progress.

This third generation Van der Linde’s family support group has played a major role in his impressive list of achievements since his first kart race as an eight-year-old in 2004.  In 2008 he and his younger brother Sheldon made South African motor racing history when they both won national karting championships in the same year.  Kelvin was both national and Northern Regions Mini Max champion in the Rotax Max Challenge. 

In 2010 he again won two karting championships, taking the honours in the Engen National Karting Junior Rok class and also in the Northern Regions Rotax Max Challenge Junior Max category.  He missed out on a second national title by a mere three tenths of a point in the Junior Max class. 

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Issued on behalf of Vanderlinde Racing by Peter Burroughes Communications.  For further information, please contact Peter Burroughes, tel 082 899 0101, e-mail bowtie@iafrica.com.

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