18 September 2013
South Africa’s Kelvin van der Linde, one of the two youngest drivers in the competition, will go into the final round of the international VW Scirocco R-Cup in Hockenheim in Germany on 19 October sitting in first place in the Championship standings.
Most recently, the 17-year-old was in action at Oschersleben in Germany over the weekend.
He went into the event on the back of four wins and increased his lead in the standings by taking second place in Saturday’s opening race behind Denmark’s Kasper Jensen.
However, a poor 15th place in race two on Sunday saw his lead reduced. Van der Linde began the race in seventh place on the grid and was aiming to put the Championship beyond doubt. A mid-race accident, when he was lying sixth and on course to wrap up that title, put paid to those hopes.
Instead, Van der Linde was handed a drive-through penalty after race officials deemed that he had pushed another competitor. Post-race viewing of the video footage showed that the other car had spun in front of Van der Linde and that contact was unintentional.
Commenting on his performances on the weekend afterwards, Van der Linde said: “At the beginning of Saturday’s race, I tried to attack Kasper. But then I took a conservative approach to the whole thing and stopped taking risks. After all, what I really want is to win the championship and it’s looking very positive on that front.
‘Everything went wrong’
“Absolutely everything went wrong in Sunday’s race,” he added. “I wanted to play it safe because of the Cup title. Then I came into contact with another car and got the drive-through penalty.
“All in all, I was too cautious and didn’t take enough risks. I’ll come back stronger in Hockenheim. I want to claim this title.”
With one race remaining and a maximum of 60 points on offer, Van der Linde leads the standings with 290 points to Jensen’s 247 and fellow South African Jordan Pepper’s 232.
What it means is that Van der Linde needs to finish the season’s last race in 12th place to win the world’s only single-make championship powered by natural gas.
A victory in the Volkswagen-backed series would almost certainly open doors to an international racing career for the young South African.