A TEENAGER following in his family's footsteps had motor racing scribes delving into the record books after clinching the Engen VW Polo Cup championship at the IndyOil Race Day, the final meeting of the WesBank Super Series at Kyalami at the weekend.
Two wins saw Kelvin van der Linde, in the Ferodo VW Polo, follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, Hennie and Shaun, who were both South African champions. In the process, young Van der Linde became what is now generally accepted as the youngest ever South African circuit racing champion – beating a record held by his uncle, Etienne, who was 142 days older when he won the national Formula Vee title in 1994.
However, the championship ended on a controversial note with the final points standings subject to a Motorsport South Africa court hearing.
Reigning champion Devin Robertson (Big Boss Auto VW Polo) was excluded from the results for a technical infringement at the penultimate round of the championship in Cape Town.
It is understood Robertson has lodged a notice of intention to appeal the Cape decision.
Van der Linde virtually sealed the title with a first heat win after a tense battle with Kyle Barnes (Gold Liberations VW Polo) and third-placed Jordan Pepper in the PG Glass VW Polo. Van der Linde had it much easier in the second race with Pepper and Barnes swapping places.
Two other championship issues were settled with Werner Scholtz (Motorvia/Investchem Mygale) wrapping up the Midas Formula 1600 championship, and Rui Campos (Q8 Oils Shelby CanAm) winning the Shelby CanAm title race. In unofficial scoring that left Campos, after finishing second to Ferdi van Niekerk (Shelby CanAm) in the opening race, one point ahead of Brian Algar (Hollard Execuline) who was third. The V8 Supercar race produced a runaway win for 65-year-old veteran Bern Morgenrood in the IndyOil Ford Falcon. Another veteran in Larry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Falcon) and Wade van Zummeren (Ford Mustang) were second and third with Darron Gudmanz taking the GT Class honours in Willie Hepburn's Corvette running in Country Range colours.
Scholtz went into the meeting with a one point advantage over reigning champion Mathew Merton (Matsam Mygale) and had one-and-a-half feet in the door after winning the opening heat from James Temple (GWM Mygale) and Jason Campos in the Etana Duratec. With the two other car championships on the programme already settled, the Formula VW and Bridgestone Production car events were dead rubbers.
The three Bridgestone heats produced three different winners. Hennie Groenewald (Sasol Subaru) and Anthony Taylor took the Class A wins in the two six lap sprint races, with Gennaro Bonafede scoring a maiden win in a wet eight-lap feature race. The conditions favoured the four-wheel- drive cars with Bonafede finally getting the better of Groenewald in a good battle.
Tschops Sipuka, in the XTreme Team Audi S4 took third place.
It was a good day for the Castrol Mini team with two wins and other visits to the podium in Class T. The wins went to Lee Thompson and Gavin Cronje, who between them also scored two seconds and a third, with the other victory going to champion Graeme Nathan, in the IndyOil/Kaye Eddie VW Golf6, with team principal Peter Kaye Eddie retiring after 43 years in motor racing. As far as bike action was concerned, Steven Odendaal (MS Aircon Suzuki), beat Cam Petersen (Bikefin Honda) in another intriguing clash. Dean Vos (Triple F Racing/Dynojet Kawasaki) took the final podium slot.
Sheridan Morais won the opening Superbike race from SA champion Greg Gildenhuys (Motorrad BMW).
Dave McFadden (Pepper Racing Kawasaki), another WSBK regular this year, won from Chris Lees on (Ducati Panagale) and Gildenhuys.