Sheldon van der Linde delivered another victory for the Champion Junior Racing Team at Killarney, scene of round two of the Engen Volkswagen Cup, but it wasn’t all plain sailing this time out.
Matt made a blinding start to pass Sheldon, the defending champion, to lead his first ever Polo Cup race. By the end of lap two, Sheldon made his move and streaked away into a 3 second lead by flag fall. During the race, Sheldon felt his car’s gearbox starting to grate and he had to nurse it to the end. Matt held on to his second place overall, leading the far more experienced chasing pack to claim his maiden podium finish.
Equipped with a new gearbox, Sheldon lined up in 5th place but missed second gear as he accelerated away. He felt the new ‘box was also starting to play up and slid down the order to 10th place by the opening lap. Mid-pack in a Polo Cup race is not for the faint-hearted and Sheldon took several knocks and was pushed off late in the race, ending in an unaccustomed 15th place.
Sheldon van der Linde (#1 Champion): “I didn’t get a good lap in because of traffic. I drew pole but missed 3rd gear going to turn one which allowed Matt to pass me. Once I passed Matt I pulled out a reasonable gap but had to nurse the gearbox as I could feel a ratio fail. It stripped completely as I crossed the line.
The team replaced the gearbox between races but again I missed second gear off the line. The gearbox felt strange and I lost a lot of positions and dropped to tenth. I made up a lot of places but got bumped off by a rival. It’s my worst race since East London last year but I got some points. I’ll be back!”
The next outing for the Champion and Ferodo Junior Racing Team is in Port Elizabeth on 13th June.