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
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.
Now Moto3 rider, South Africa’s Brad Binder in his Mahindra kit.
Ferrari racer and Wordpress wizard Dave Perel.
Kelvin van der Linde.