Sunday, 2 June 2013


Kelvin van der Linde leads race one at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria

Kelvin van der Linde is flanked by Michelle Gatting (on his right) and Jordan Pepper (on his left) on the podium after race one, won by Kelvin from Gatting and Jordan
Sixteen-year-old Kelvin van der Linde of Dainfern in Johannesburg dominated the second and third rounds of the international Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup one-make series in Austria on Saturday and Sunday with back-to-back victories around the 4.3-kilometre Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

The 2012 South African Volkswagen Cup champion was ably supported by 16-year-old compatriot Jordan Pepper of Johannesburg, who finished third in race one on Saturday and fifth in Sunday’s round in front of a large crowd who had gathered to watch the main attraction, the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).

Van der Linde won Saturday’s race over 10 laps from pole position after it was shortened by two laps as a result of an accident. Fellow South African Jordan Pepper, also 16, was third. It was a proud moment for the two Johannesburg teenagers as they stood on the podium together with 19-year-old Michelle Gatting of Denmark, who finished second.

It was a remarkable performance by the rising star of South African motorsport, who is competing for the first time in this one-make series and had never previously raced on the Austrian circuit.  Four weeks ago he made their debut in the series at the Hockenheimring grand prix circuit in Germany, where he qualified second and finished fourth despite losing the car’s power steering on the opening lap.

Van der Linde now leads the championship with 80 points after three rounds with six remaining. Gatting is second with 72 points.

Gatting and Van der Linde were involved in a thrilling duel for the lead in Saturday’s race before the young South African got the upper hand and crossed the line with a 5.6-second advantage. The top eight finishers started Sunday’s race in reverse order and Van der Linde took full advantage of a great start from eighth on the grid to move into the lead by the second lap. He steadily pulled away from the rest of the field to take the chequered flag by a comfortable 10.2 seconds from Gatting and 10.5 seconds ahead of Jensen.

“My start in race one was not good and Michelle put me under pressure right from the word go,” said a happy Van der Linde. “We were involved in a tough, but fair duel. I had a great start in race two and made up a lot of places on the opening lap. Once I got to the front it was just a case of maintaining the pace and making no mistakes. I’m very happy with my first Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup victories at the Red Bull Ring, which is a new circuit to me.”

The next round is at the Norisring circuit in Germany on July 13.   


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