Kelvin van der Linde’s dream run in the international Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup continued at the famed Nurburgring in Germany on Saturday when he won his fourth consecutive race from pole position after dominating Friday’s practice and Saturday morning’s qualifying.
Racing on the same circuit where his father Shaun won an international BMW Junior Driver shoot-out 20 years ago as a 19-year-old, the 17-year-old Dainfern College pupil from Johannesburg led throughout the race and increased his championship lead to 80 points over nearest challenger, Michelle Gatting of Denmark, who retired after a collision.
The top eight finishers starting Sunday’s Race 2 in reverse order, which put Van der Linde eighth on the grid with fellow South African Jordan Pepper on pole after finishing eighth in Race 1.
“It was a tough race.”
He was able to work his way up to fourth on lap five of the 14-lap race on a shortened 3.62km version of the Grand Prix circuit, but this one-make formula - where all the cars run on natural gas - is so competitive that Van der Linde found himself in seventh at the flag after swapping places almost every lap, while Pepper held on to win.
Nevertheless, the 2012 South African Volkswagen Cup champion retained a commanding lead in the championship on 228 points with three rounds remaining, while Pepper moved up to second place with 168 points.
“There was some blocking and shoving.”
“I made a mistake halfway through the race that cost me dearly, “ admitted Van der Linde. “Much as I’d like to, you can’t win them all. From an overall race weekend point of view, I’m very happy. I scored the most points and still have a comfortable lead in the championship. Racing is all about winning and I look forward to the opportunity to add to my tally in the three that lie ahead.”
The next two races will be run at Oschersleben in Germany on 19 and 20 October.