Kelvin van der Linde was a member of the team that won the Nurburgring 24 Hours - that's him on the right. File photo: Audi

Johannesburg - The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists’ 2017 Motor Sportsman of the Year is 21-year-old Kelvin van der Linde.

Double former award winner Van der Linde - who is only 21 years old - was honoured for the third time in five years for his achievements racing an Audi R8 in Australia, America and Europe, where was a member of the team that won the prestigious Nurburgring 24 Hours in Germany.

He is the second member of the Van der Linde motorsport dynasty, now in its third generation, to receive the Michelin-sponsored award - his uncle Etienne won in 1997.

His younger brother Sheldon was also one of the nominees this year, for finishing third in the ADAC championship in Germany in an Audi RS, and winning the 24-hour Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta in the United States.

Bernard Hellberg Jr (SA Guild of Motoring Journalists), Kelvin van der Linde's father Des and Gaganjot Singh of Michelin SA. Picture: SA Guild of Motoring Journalists

Other South African motorsport stars nominated were Matthew Scholtz, winner of the US SuperStock 1000 title and American Motorcyclists Association Hall of Fame inductee, former South African Superbike champion Sheridan Morais, who won the German round of the World SuperSport series, and 12-times South African Motocross champion Ryan Hunt, recipient of an MSA lifetime achievement award for representing South South with great success in international events over a career of nearly four decades in Britain, Europe, and the United States.

Closer to home, Wilhelm Baart was nominated for winning his class at the Jaguar Simola Hill Climb in his 735kW Nissan GT-R, and becoming the first driver to break the 40 second barrier on the Simola hill, while Richard Leeke got the nod for becoming the youngest driver yet to win a national rally with a victory in the Volkswagen Rally at the age of 21 - in fact he was in contention for the 2017 SA Rally title right down to the final round.

COLIN WATLING AWARD

Trish Watling, Des Easom and Bernard Hellberg Jr. Picture: SAGMJ

The 18th Colin Watling award for non-competitors in motorsport went to Des Easom and his team at the Western Province Motor Club at Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway, for organising the final round of the 2017 World Rallycross championship - the first time that a world championship motorsport meeting had been run in South Africa since the SA Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phakisa in 2004.

MOTOR SPORTSMEN OF THE YEAR
1992      Greg Albertyn
1993      Greg Albertyn
1994      Jan Habig and Douglas Judd
1995      Jaki Scheckter
1996      Wayne Taylor
1997      Etienne van der Linde
1998      Alfie Cox
1999      Thomas Scheckter
2000      Grant Langston
2001      Schalk Burger and Piet Swanepoel
2002      Tschops Sipuka
2003      Alan van der Merwe
2004      Cornel de Villiers
2005       Alfie Cox
2006      Giniel de Villiers
2007      Serge Damseaux
2008      Tyla Rattray
2009      Giniel de Villiers
2010       Ralph Pitchford
2011       Leeroy Poulter
2012      Giniel de Villiers
2013      Kelvin van der Linde
2014      Kelvin van der Linde
2015      Leeroy Poulter
2016      Brad Binder
2017      Kelvin van der Linde

IOL Motoring