How are the SA- born rac­ers, like Kelvin van der Linde here, do­ing over­seas?

SA rac­ers got on top of one podium and nar­rowly missed a few oth­ers around the world

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

AT Long Beach in Cal­i­for­nia last week­end, South African Stephen Simp­son and his Cana­dian team­mate Misha Goikhberg drove their Chevrolet to a dom­i­nant vic­tory on the Long Beach Pro­to­type Chal­lenge Grand Prix on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The win con­sol­i­dates the duo’s lead at the top of the IMSA Pro­to­type Chal­lenge Cham­pi­onship fol­low­ing their Day­tona 24hour vic­tory and a fight­ing fourth in the Se­bring 12- hour.

Simp­son was de­lighted by the re­sult. “We had a great day at Long Beach!” the In­di­anapolis­based Capeto­nian ad­mit­ted. “We started from pole po­si­tion and led ev­ery lap and that makes this win all that much sweeter.”

He thanked the JDC Miller Mo­tor­sports team for an out­stand­ing job that saw their Chev win two out of the first three races of the year.

Simp­son, Goikhberg and the JDC Miller squad now head to the sec­ond of IMSA Pro­to­type Chal­lenge’s two back- to- back Cal­i­for­nian rounds at the twisty, chal­leng­ing and quick La­guna Seca for the fourth round of the cham­pi­onship on April 30.

In Spain to­mor­row

An­other reg­u­lar on the podium, Potchef­stroom’s Brad Bin­der, heads to Spain to­mor­row for the week­end’s Moto GP. Two weeks ago, Bin­der earned his ninth podium in his Moto GP ca­reer in Amer­ica.

Bin­der races in the Moto3 cat­e­gory and bike pun­dits warn he can ex­pect an even harder race from Philipp Oetll as the Spa­niard will be rid­ing in front of his home crowd at Jerez.

In a wet Eng­land

In the UK, Dur­ban boykie Raoul Hy­man en­dured a chal­leng­ing wild­card out­ing in Bri­tish For­mula 3 cham­pi­onship over the week­end.

As he said: “That was a dif­fi­cult week­end.”

Hy­man will be back in the higher pro­file Euro­pean For­mula 3 at the Hun­go­rar­ing near Bu­dapest in Hun­gary on Satur­day.

In even wet­ter Ger­many

Three South Africans had the best and the worst of the Osch­er­sleben track in Ger­many over the week­end.

Jor­dan Pep­per en­dured an en­cour­ag­ing first out­ing shar­ing his Bent­ley with se­ries Gen­tle­man’s cham­pion An­dreas Weishaupt in the Ger­man ADAC GT Masters se­ries opener at Osch­er­sleben on Sun­day. The duo came away in the Tro­phy class cham­pi­onship lead af­ter net­ting a sec­ond and a third in class in the two races.

Af­ter tak­ing the car over in 29th in the first race and mak­ing six over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vres and tak­ing his car up to 16th while fel­low rac­ers suf­fered a few “drive throughs” and crashes around him on Satur­day, he was ready for a full at­tack on Sun­day’s sec­ond race. He started ninth and passed for 8th early on be­fore com­ing up on Ed­ward Sand­ström, whose slam closed a gap that Pep­per took, bounc­ing the Bent­ley off into the armco to bring out the safety car.

De­spite that skir­mish, Jor­dan was de­lighted with his per­for­mance. “That was a hard race,” Pep­per ex­plained. “I had a good start and moved up to 8th early and then 7th. Then I just put my head down and chased to the stop to hand An­dreas [ Weishaupt] the car from sixth po­si­tion.”

The ADAC GT Masters now heads for Sach­sen­ring for round two in two weeks over the week­end of May 1.

Fel­low Capeto­nian Jonathan Aberdein South African GT race star Kelvin van der Linde also found the go­ing tough at Osch­er­sleben.

Aberdein’s in­ex­pe­ri­ence showed on the wet track.

“This was out first week­end in ADAC For­mula 4 and while we did strug­gle along the way, we learned so much,” Jonathan con­cluded. “The last race was much bet­ter but we still have a lot of work to do and I need to bet­ter un­der­stand what we need to do with the car as the con­di­tions change.

“Still, it was a pos­i­tive week­end and I’m look­ing for­ward to mov­ing for­ward at Sach­sen­ring in two weeks’ time.”

Van der Linde started his third year of rac­ing in the Ger­man ADAC GT Masters se­ries at Osch­er­sleben. 2014 cham­pion Kelvin is driv­ing for new Audi team Car Col­lec­tion Rac­ing with Span­ish rookie Isaac Tu­tumlu- Lopez this year and de­spite a chal­leng­ing week­end, the duo drove the fastest car on track in the last stint and we they look for­ward to be in Sach­sen­ring in two week’s time.

“That’s my happy hunt­ing ground and I’m de­ter­mined to keep my good record there in­tact,” said Van der Linde.

This week­end in Italy

The Word­press wizard who is liv­ing his dream to race, Dave Perel will again be dic­ing against 58 of the world’s finest supercars in the Blanc­pain GT En­durance Cham­pi­onship at Monza in Italy on Satur­day and Sun­day.

Te­hc­ni­cal is­sues last year saw him miss a dou­ble win at this leg­endary Ital­ian track, and he said he can­not wait to make up for it against a field of cars from Fer­rari, Porsche, Lam­borgh­ini, Bent­ley, As­ton Martin, BMW, Audi, Mercedes- Benz, rac­ing with his new co- driv­ers, Amer­i­can Stephen Earle and Bel­gian Bernard Del­hez.

PHOTO: STEPHENSIMPSON. COM

Stephen Simp­son.

PHOTO: FILE

Now Moto3 rider, South Africa’s Brad Bin­der in his Mahin­dra kit.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Fer­rari racer and Word­press wizard Dave Perel.

PHOTO: TEAM READLINE

Kelvin van der Linde.

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