Sheldon van der Linde delivered another victory for the Champion Junior Racing Team at Killarney, scene of round two of the Engen Volkswagen Cup, but it wasn’t all plain sailing this time out. Matt Shorter excelled in the second Champion liveried Polo GT with a fighting second place in the opening race. In the Ferodo camp, Daniel Rowe in the #2 Polo recovered his form to be classified second overall on the day with Brad Liebenberg showing grit and determination by fighting his way from the back of the field after qualifying last. Daniel set the pace for the Signature Motorsport quartet in qualifying claiming the third fastest time, followed by Sheldon and Matt in 4th and 5th places with Bradley trailing the pack.
Matt made a blinding start to pass his teammate and the defending champion to lead his first ever Polo Cup race,
and this on his first visit to Killarney. By the end of lap two, Sheldon made his move and streaked away into a 3
second lead by flag fall. During the race, Sheldon felt his car’s gearbox starting to grate and he had to nurse it to
the end. Matt held on to his second place overall, leading the far more experienced chasing pack to claim his
maiden podium finish.
Daniel, starting 6th on the grid after the top six grid draw, settled in to a steady race, moving up two places after the
ten lap race. Bradley had a mountain to climb but put his head down and picked his rivals off one by one to end a
Equipped with a new gearbox, Sheldon lined up in 5th place but missed second gear as he accelerated away. He
felt the new ‘box was also starting to play up and slid down the order to 10th place by the opening lap. Mid-pack in
a Polo Cup race is not for the faint-hearted and Sheldon took several knocks and was pushed off late in the race,
ending in an unaccustomed 15th place.
Starting 7th, Matt picked off his rivals to move into 5th place, in spite of a little fender bashing along the way.
Daniel, in pole position, took off into the lead and was immediately embroiled in a fight with Mathew Hodges for the
lead. The Ferodo Polo held on to a tenuous lead until the penultimate lap when Hodges found a way past, taking
Trevor Bland along. Daniel re-passed Bland to claim second place in the race and second overall for the day.
Bradley held on to 8th place before being bumped back down the order to 10th place. Undaunted the youngster
charged back to 8th and in spite of more physical contact maintained his spot. He was classified a satisfying 6th
Sheldon van der Linde (#1 Champion): I didn’t get a good lap in because of traffic. I drew pole but
missed 3rd gear going to turn one. Once I passed Matt I pulled out a
reasonable gap but had to nurse the gearbox as I could feel a ratio fail. It stripped completely as I
crossed the line. The team replaced the gearbox between races but again I missed second gear off the line. The gearbox
did not feel reliable and I lost many positions to tenth. It’s my worst race since East London last year but I got some points. I’ll be back!
— VW Motorsport_za (@VWMotorsport_za) April 11, 2015