Younger brother Sheldon is set for a busy year in 2016 following his selection not only to race in the 2016 European Audi Sport TT Cup, but also as one of six Audi Sport Racing Academy students who will take part in an international motorsport learning programme over the next two years.
A double South African Polo Cup champion at just 16 years old, Sheldon is already confirmed as one of 14 regular young drivers in the 2016 Audi Sport TT Cup and now will now add the prestigious 2016/17 Audi Sport Racing Academy to his itinerary.
A new programme established to promote young motorsport talent, the Audi Sport Racing Academy puts six promising young drivers from around the world through various assessments, after which the drivers will be sponsored by Audi.
Academy head Sepp Haider said: “The Audi Sport racing academy is the ideal programme to support and sponsor the motorsport stars of tomorrow as they take the first steps in their career.”
The two-year course puts the young drivers through extensive training on topics as far ranging as public relations and sponsorship to automotive engineering, fitness, nutrition and mental training. That’s over and above driving sessions that include everything from winter training in Austria to ice driving in Finland and sprints on European race tracks.
The programme includes extensive mentoring and preparation for Audi Sport TT Cup races and later in GT series.
“There is much more to professional motorsport than just driving fast,” Haider poinred out. “A good driver should also make a positive public impression and he or she must be able to talk to engineers in detail about the racing car’s setup. We are creating an ideal platform for young drivers to develop their careers - a qualified Audi Sport Racing Academy driver will be ready to move into professional motorsport in Le Mans Prototype, DTM German Touring Cars or GT3 races with Audi Sport or Audi Sport customer racing and ideally become a potential factory driver.”
Sheldon’s elder brother Kelvin has been confirmed as an Audi Customer Sport driver for Car Collection Racing in the German 2016 ADAC GT Masters championship. This will be his third season for Audi in the series he won in 2014. He’ll be teamed up with Spain’s Isaac Tutumlu, who comes from a GT background.
Kelvin has enjoyed a meteoric race career, starting with South African karting championships in 2008 and 2010 before moving up to the main circuit where he became SA’s youngest national champion in the Polo Cup at just 16 in 2012. Kelvin then went to Germany where he won the 2013 European Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup and grabbed Audi’s attention before promptly winning the 2014 ADAC GT Masters title driving an Audi R8, aged just 18.
Van der Linde will drive the all-new 2016 Audi R8 LMS this year following a difficult 2015 with the old car in its final season.
“I have unfinished business in the GT Masters after the ups and downs of 2015,” he insisted. “I’m in the best physical and mental condition to challenge at the front of the grid in 2016.”
Original source: SA brothers on track for international fame