The iconic Ferodo and Champion brands will both be represented in an expanded four-car team for the 2015 Engen Volkswagen Cup Championship. The South African subsidiary of the global Federal-Mogul automotive parts group is aiming to record their third championship in four years with a driver line-up that represents the cream of South Africa’s rising motorsport talent.
The team is headed by 15-year-old Sheldon van der Linde, the 2014 Engen Volkswagen Cup champion running under the Champion umbrella. He is joined by 15-year-old Matt Shorter in an identical Champion liveried Polo Vivo.
Ferodo is represented by the 2014 Championship runner-up Daniel Rowe and is joined in a sister Ferodo car by 15-year-old Bradley Liebenberg.
Sheldon became the youngest national circuit racing champion in history when he won the 2014 title after a stellar season that saw him bag four wins, eight second places, eight fastest laps and seven pole positions.
The champion’s Champion team-mate is Matt Shorter who only started racing in August 2014! Such was his debut in the Volkswagen Cup at Phakisa that he caught the eye of Ferodo Racing’s Team Manager Ronnie Erasmus who quietly observed the youngster over the remainder of the season and promptly signed him up for the new season.
Port Elizabeth-based Daniel Rowe, at the tender age of 20 is the oldest member of the Junior Racing Team and claimed three victories, two second places and three third place finishes, as well as eight fastest laps and seven pole positions to end as the runner-up on the points log in 2014. The second Ferodo-backed car will be driven by Bradley Liebenberg, who started racing when he was 8 years old. In a twist of fate, he raced against Sheldon in Mini Max karts in 2009. Bradley went on to win the Junior ROK kart championship in 2012 and after moving up to DD2 karts this year, claimed the championship in his rookie year to become the youngest ever DD2 champion in South Africa.
Sheldon van der Linde (Champion): “I plan on defending my title by putting the experience gained this year to good use. I will have less pressure next year – I added my own pressure by wanting to become the youngest champion. It will be fun working with team-mates who are the same age group as I am as I can relate better to them. I will give as much advice and offer any help I can to Matt to help him to be competitive”.Ronnie Erasmus, Team Manager: “It is going to be a tough act to better our 2014 season. Twenty-eight podiums, twelve fastest laps and fourteen pole positions is an incredible record for such a young team. Managing the team with two talented potential champions was a fraught experience at times, especially when Sheldon and Daniel went door-to-door racing. I believe we have recruited the best talent available and look forward to another competitive season”.