Two South African racing drivers flew the flag high this last weekend with brilliant performances at the second and third rounds of the international Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup one-make series.
Sixteen-year-old Kelvin van der Linde of Dainfern in Johannesburg dominated both heats at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Austria on Saturday and Sunday with back-to-back victories. The 2012 South African Volkswagen Cup champion won Saturday’s race over 10 laps from pole position after it was shortened by two laps as a result of an accident.
In that race another teenager 2012 Engen Volkswagen Rookie of the Year Jordan Pepper of Johannesburg finished third behind Michelle Gatting of Denmark. It was a proud moment for the two Johannesburg teenagers who are strong rivals on the track.
Kelvin, of the Van der Linde racing dynasty, repeated his winning ways on Sunday when he took another dominant victory. He started race two from eighth position thanks to partially inverted grid but was leading by lap two. He steadily pulled away from the rest of the field to take the chequered flag by a comfortable 10,2 seconds from Gatting. Pepper managed a fifth place finish in the second race.
“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.”
Van der Linde now leads the championship with 80 points after three rounds with six remaining. Gatting is second with 72 points.
The next round is at the Norisring circuit in Germany on July 13.