The fastest rising star in South African motor sport, 15-year-old Kelvin van der Linde from Dainfern in Johannesburg, made South African motor racing history at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday when he became the youngest driver ever to win an Engen Volkswagen Cup national championship motor race.
The grade 9 Dainfern College student, who graduated to senior circuit racing at the beginning of last year when he was only 14, won the second of two races in the Engen Volkswagen Cup championship, which is contested by mostly up and coming young drivers in close to identical production VW Polo Vivo hatchbacks. Driving a Ferodo VW Polo, he came second in the first race, which was run over eight laps of the 2,4 kilometre Gauteng circuit, behind Brian Morgan.
Van der Linde finished third overall in last year’s Volkswagen Cup and won the Rookie of the Year award, the youngest driver ever to do so. He also competed in the 2011 Goldwagen Challenge, a Northern Regions competition, and won both class B and the overall title in his Ferodo/Autoquip VW Golf 1. He was the youngest driver in the 21-year history of the competition to win either a class title or the overall title.
The son of former national circuit racing champion Shaun van der Linde and grandson of Hennie van der Linde, also a multiple former champion, the third generation Van der Linde has the distinction of beating both father and grandfather to his first senior championship win. Hennie van der Linde started racing at a relatively late stage and was 26 when he won his first race in a modified Datsun GX Coupe at Kyalami in 1970. Father Shaun started racing when he was 19 and his first win came in the same year in a modified Volkswagen Golf at Kyalami.
A year older, wiser and certainly not bowed by the rough and tumble of the youthful and hotly contested series, Van der Linde’s sights are firmly set on becoming the youngest ever winner of this title.
His next race meeting is the second round of the Volkswagen Cup championship at Killarney circuit in Cape Town on March 31.
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.