Kelvin van der Linde has impressed in the ADAC GT Masters since the start of the season in Oschersleben. After eight of 16 races, the 18-year-old South African youngster in the Audi R8 LMS ultra prepared by Prosperia C Abt Racing heads the standings along with with René Rast and is the youngest race winner ever in the history of the ADAC GT Masters. Now the sport's governing body, the FIA, has rewarded the Audi driver for his excellent performance on the FIA Institute's elite junior programme. As one of ten hand-picked drivers, van der Linde has been taking part in this year's international Young Driver Excellence Academy programme for juniors run by the FIA Institute and was named overall winner of the programme at the final seminar ten days ago in Le Castellet / France.
In the jury's opinion, the leader in the ADAC GT Masters rankings not only impressed with fast lap times on the track but also with his willing nature and enthusiasm for the young driver programme. As part of his reward for coming top on the support programme for young drivers, the Academy's performance managers, ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz and Robert Reid, co-driver to former world rally champion Richard Burns will advise van der Linde as he progresses up the career ladder.
Commenting on the Audi driver's achievement, two-time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz told us: "Choosing a winner is never easy, however, Kelvin's performance during the training sessions was exceptional and makes him a well deserved winner. As the an academy year draws to a close, you generally begin to realise what very special, terrific young people you are working with and start to appreciate the students as friends."
After receiving the FIA Institute's top accolade, Van der Linde is highly motivated for the second half of the ADAC GT Masters season which begins at the Slovakia Ring in Bratislava, Slovakia on the wekend of August 8th-10th. Van der Linde: "I'm speechless. Studying at the Academy as a representative of such a large continent like Africa is one thing but then to come top is incredible. I wanted to learn lots at the FIA's Young Driver Academy and did my best. It's great to win and receive a trophy, but the really hard work starts now."