16 July 2013
South African teenager Kelvin van der Linde scored his third win in a row when he took the honours in the fourth round of the international Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup at the Norisring in Germany on Saturday.
The 17-year-old from Johannesburg delivered another accomplished performance to confirm his status as the most successful driver in the series, comfortably winning the 21-lap race around the demanding street circuit in the ancient city of Nuremburg.
Second, 2.5 seconds in arrears, was Danish driver Michelle Gatting (19) and third was Germany’s Manuel Fahrnauer (19), 3.1 seconds behind the winner.
Van der Linde started third on the grid and, after taking the lead on lap three from polesitter Nicolaj Moller Madsen of Denmark, steadily pulled away from the 22-strong field of drivers from nine countries, competing in identical VW Scirocco R sports coupes.
With four of the championship’s nine rounds completed, Van der Linde has 140 points and a useful lead of 20 points over his nearest rival, Gatting.
The South African teen’s previous victories came at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in June. He finished fourth in the season-opener at Hockenheim after losing his power steering early in the race.
“Going into the weekend, I never expected to win at the Norisring,” said the grade 11 student from Dainfern College. “The race is the toughest of the season, as the gaps between each car are so small that anyone can come out on top.
‘A good start’
“I made a good start, which allowed me to overtake Michelle on the first lap. When I then passed Nicolaj Moller Madsen shortly after that, I used the push-to- pass system to open up a gap. I also timed the re-start after the safety car phase perfectly.
“The overall standings obviously look very good now, but there are still five races to go.”
“I would like to dedicate my win to Allan Simonsen, in whose memory we all bore a sticker on our cars. He was a fantastic racing driver, and was in the thoughts of all the Scirocco R-Cup drivers today,” Van der Linde added.
Danish sports car driver Simonsen died in an accident at the start of the recent Le Mans 24 Hour in France.
The next rounds of the VW Scirocco R-Cup take place at the Nurburgring in Germany on 17 and 18 August.