Back-to-back wins in both races of round three national championship Engen Volkswagen Cup at Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante circuit on Saturday saw 14-year-old Kelvin van der Linde of Dainfern strengthen his grip on the national motor racing championship that would make him the youngest title holder in senior circuit racing.
The grade 10 Dainfern College student again demonstrated the maturity beyond his years that marks him as a major future force in motor sport as he scythed through the field from sixth place at the start of each of race to win by a comfortable three seconds and four seconds respectively. His domination of what is usually a tightly contested series of fiercely determined teenagers and twenty-somethings in identical VW Polo Vivos was underlined by his scoring the fastest lap in both races.
Despite qualifying second fastest, just one tenth of a second behind Mark Silverwood, the son and grandson of former multiple national motor racing champions Shaun and Hennie van der Line respectively unluckily drew the highest number in the traditional top-six draw for grid positions for both races.
Undeterred he drove his Ferodo-backed Polo with his head, avoiding the frequent incidents that characterise VW Cup racing. He recovered from a slow start in race one and by half distance had picked off the five cars ahead of him and then controlled the last five laps from the front, conserving his tyres for the second race.
A good start in race two saw him take the lead before the end of the first lap and take an untroubled win at the end of the 12 laps.
“We knew we had a quick car from practice on Friday and I felt I had a good chance of winning on Saturday,” said the unassuming youngster. “I was a bit despondent after drawing number six for both races, but as it turned out I was able to avoid trouble and take two fairly comfortable wins at the end of the day.”
The next round of the Engen Volkswagen Cup is at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on May 26.
Issued on behalf of Vanderlinde Racing by Peter Burroughes Communications, telephone 082 899 0101, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.