#Kyalami9Hour | Audi Sport racing driver Kelvin van der Linde chats to Wheels24

Gruppe C Photography; #31 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, HCB-Rutronik Racing: Kelvin van der Linde
Gruppe C Photography; #31 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, HCB-Rutronik Racing: Kelvin van der Linde

"When the Kyalami 9 Hour stopped in 1982, it was the pinnacle of South African motorsport", says Audi Sport works driver Kelvin van der Linde.  

The German-based HCB-Rutronik Racing driver chatted to Wheels24 while in South Africa when he had a few days off during his hectic schedule.

Van der Linde's next race will race in the Macau GT3 World Cup on `15 November. 

The 23-year-old racer will return to his homeland in late November (21-23) to compete in this first Kyalami 9 Hour race in 37 years. 

ADAC GT Masters, 11. + 12. Lauf Hockenheimring 201

                                                                       Image: ADAC GT Masters 

24 Hours of Nurburgring winner and two-time ADAC GT Masters champion

The Van der Linde surname is synonymous in local motorsport, but Kelvin and his brother Sheldon have taken the name to new heights competing and winning, the toughest races in Europe.

20-year-old younger brother Sheldon is competing in DTM for BMW.  

Van der Linde says the incredible, against-all-odds win in the rain at the 2017 24 Hours of Nurburgring opened up new doors for his career. 

"Winning Nurburgring for a German manufacturer, and the crazy way we managed to do it will always be remembered in German motorsport history," he said. 

The 23-year-old, is a two-time ADAC GT Masters champion, winning the 2019 title with teammate Patric Niederhauser from HCB-Rutronik Racing. 

Van der Linde says he still has a long career ahead and is grateful to the support from Audi. He is also a brand ambassador for Audi South Africa. 

When asked why he enjoys endurance racing, Van der Linde says the form of motorsport creates a special connection with the team as you share a car with other drivers. 

"In endurance racing, it's very much team success. So when you win, you're celebrating with a large group of people which I really enjoy." 

Van der Linde's race calendar includes 24 hours, 12 hours and even sprint races, a real test for any driver. 

"As a driver you're expected to be an all-rounder in everything, you have to be good at tyre management and fuel saving. There's a lot more strategy involved in endurance race than a sprint race where you're aiming for pure performance to win the race.

ADAC GT Masters, 3. + 4. Lauf Most 2019 - Foto: Gr

                                                                  Image: ADAC GT Masters / Supplied

Van der Linde's list of motorsport ambitions include winning the ultimate endurance race: 24 Hours of Le Mans, and becoming DTM champion.

But for now he's focused on competing for Audi the Intercontinental Championship, local fans can catch Van der Linde in his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo car at Kyalami from 21-23 November.  

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