Ferodo Racing young guns ready for Zwartkops Raceway Shoot-out (Aug 2012)

Kelpolo2012

  • Kelvin van der Linde leads Engen VW Cup by 49 points
  • Gennaro Bonafede moves up to class A of Production Cars
  • Ernie van der Walt chasing another podium in Formula VW

The young Ferodo Racing team of Gennaro Bonafede, Kelvin van der Linde and Ernie van der Walt heads for round seven of the WesBank Super Series at Zwartkops Raceway this weekend in confident mood after their good showing in the previous round at Phakisa Freeway in the Free State three weeks ago. All three claimed podium positions in their races and will be looking to impress once again as the season enters the home straight. Despite a slight hiccup in the last round at Phakisa Freeway three weeks ago, Van der Linde remains on track to win his first national motor racing championship at the age of 16. He leads the Engen Volkswagen Cup in his Ferodo VW Polo with 322 points and enjoys a useful 49-point advantage over defending champion Devin Robertson despite scoring no points at all in the second race at Phakisa. After finishing second in race one, he could only manage 27th in race two after having to pit to replace a flat wheel following contact with another competitor on the opening lap. While race wins are what racing drivers aim for, Van der Linde will aiming to avoid any unnecessary contact with his rivals as he attempts to put distance between him and them by scoring as many points as possible this weekend.

Bonafede had a great weekend at Phakisa with a win, a second and a fourth in the three Bridgestone Production Car races in what was his last appearance in the class T Ferodo VW Golf GTi. This weekend he steps up to the premier class A in an all-wheel-drive Ferodo Audi S4. “I’m very excited about racing the Ferodo Audi,” said the 21-year-old. “This is a major step up for me and something I’ve been aiming for since I started circuit racing in the VW Cup. For me this is massive – racing with the big boys. Now it’s serious. I’m up against drivers who have won multiple championships.” Bonafede has been testing the ex-Johan Fourie Audi and has already posted the car’s quickest lap of the year at Zwartkops. “Our preparations have gone well,” he admitted. “Our pace is there or thereabouts and I’m very comfortable with the car. The fourwheel-drive is very different to the Golf’s two-wheel-drive. You have to take quite different lines into the corners and adjust the way you get on to the throttle on exit.

“We have no great expectations and will be using the remaining three rounds of the championship to get to know the car and for me to learn how to race it properly. Ferodo Racing’s two teenage representatives in the single-seater Formula Volkswagen category acquitted themselves well in the previous round – 16-year-old Mikey Taylor had a fourth and a second, while 18-year-old Ernie van der Walt was third behind Taylor in race two. Taylor is out of the country and won’t be racing at Zwartkops this weekend, but Van der Walt will be in action and aiming for podium positions as he establishes himself in senior circuit racing.

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