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Van der Linde brothers set to make history… again

2018-01-09 11:11

Ferdi de Vos

Image: Supplied

Untied States - The South African racing brothers Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde are set to make history (again) this month when they will share driving duties in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the 2018 24 Hours of Daytona (now known as the Rolex 24 at Daytona, scheduled for the weekend of 27-28 January. 

The brothers, who over the last three years have set European, American and Australian race tracks alight in the ADAC GT Masters, the IMSA championship, Audi Sport TT Cup and the VLN Endurance races.

will share a car entered by the German team Montaplast by Land Motorsport with Christopher Mies from Germany and Swiss driver Jeffrey Schmidt in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.
As far as could be ascertain, this will be the first time two South African brothers will share a car in a post-war internationally sanctioned motorsport event for sports and touring cars.

While many SA siblings have over the years raced overseas, some during the same period (to wit the Scheckter brothers, Jody and Ian, in Formula 1, and Shaun and Etienne van der Linde – father and uncle of Kelvin and Sheldon – in touring cars and single seaters respectively) none of them ever shared a car in the same race.

However, it must be noted that if other motorsport disciplines are included, it won’t be the first time two brothers team up in a car for an event. 

This honour belongs to brothers Jannie and Christo Kuun who over four decades ago participated in the 1975 Lombard RAC Rally – a round of the World Rally Championship – with a Toyota Corolla. Jannie was the driver, with Christo navigating, but they did not finish the rally.

While the Daytona race is still celebrated locally for the very unexpected 1984 victory by the South Africans Sarel van der Merwe, Graham Duxbury and Tony Martin in a March 83G-Porsche; the wins by South African Wayne Taylor are sometimes plain forgotten or conveniently not mentioned.

He won the event in 1996 with Americans Scott Sharp and Jim Pace in a Riley & Scott Mk III-Oldsmobile, and again in 2005 (with Italian Max Angelelli and Frenchman Emmanuel Collard in a Riley MkXI-Pontiac). 

But the Taylor connection gives another interesting local twist to the Daytona tale…  You see, Ricky and Jordan, sons of the former (and last) SA National Drivers Champion, are olds hands in the IMSA and former ALMS and Rolex Sports Car series. 

The two, both American citizens, are also the current Daytona 24 Hour defending champions. Last year the brothers shared a Cadillac DPi-V, entered by Wayne Taylor Racing, with Angelelli and fellow American Jeff Gordon to score a controversial victory after a last-lap incident. 

This year they will both compete again, but in different cars – with Ricky now part of Team Penske, driving an Acura DPi, while Jordan will again be in action in a Cadillac DPi in the endurance race, also the opening round of the WeatherTech SportCar Championship in the US.

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