Kelvin van der Linde the GT master

South Africa’s Kelvin van der Linde is ready to race at one of his favourite racetracks as the German ADAC GT Masters series heads to its second round at the Sachsenring over the Mayday weekend. 2014 series champion Kelvin has enjoyed an excellent record at the track located between the German towns of Zwickau and Chemnitz.

“Sachsenring is a happy hunting ground for me,” Kelvin pointed out. “I have a 75 percent win rate having won on three of my four ADAC starts there over the last two years, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Kelvin and his Spanish co-driver Isaac Tutumlu-Lopez endured a difficult first race at the season-opening Oschersleben round but bounced back to end tenth in the second race. The objective is to keep on improving over the Sachsenring weekend where Qualifying 1 and race 1 happen Saturday 30 April and Quali 2 and race 2 on Sunday 1 May. The races will be live streamed with live timing also available via http://www.adac-gt-masters.de/uk/.

van der linde

 

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Renault Kadjar

Renault Kadjar

Another month, another cross-over. And so we get the Kadjar.

Renault says the Kadjar is the result of the integration of three vehicle categories: capable SUV, dynamic hatch and versatile sportswagon. So its actually a kind of cramped station wagon on stilts, and quite expensive.

The line-up comprises three models all powered by forced induction turbo engines. At the top end of the range is the turbo diesel-powered Dynamique 96kW 1.6 dCi (320Nm) 4×4 followed by the turbo petrol-powered Dynamique 96kW (205Nm) and entry-level Expression variants.

The equipment levels are quite good, especially the safety aspects, with six active devices as well as air bags, isofix points and so on.

Renault Kadjar (Quickpic)

Renault Kadjar (Quickpic)

On paper the cars appear to be powerful and frugal and should drive pleasantly.

The Kadjar lcomes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. In addition the range comes standard with a 5-year/90 000km service plan. Services take place at 15 000km intervals.

– Renault Kadjar petrol Expression 96kW Turbo R 359 900

– Renault Kadjar petrol Dynamique 96kW Turbo R 384 900

– Renault Kadjar diesel Dynamique 96kW dCi 4×4 R 449 900

Maybe the Duster is still a better buy. Even the Stepway. You can get two Stepways for the price.

After we get to actually drive a Kadjar we will do a proper review.

Everest goes local

Ford Motor Company is investing R2.5-billion to expand operations its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, to produce the new Ford Everest, along with the new Ford Ranger that was launched at the end of last year.

Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa says “By producing the Everest in South Africa, we will be able to make it more readily available, and in a greater variety of models, for customers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.”

everest factory

The Silverton facility joins AutoAlliance Thailand in Rayong; Ford’s Chennai plant in India (where it is sold as the Endeavor) and the JMC Xiaolan Plant in Nanchang, China, as production hubs for the Everest. Initial production at Silverton of the Everest will commence in the third quarter of 2016, with the first units expected to come to market in the fourth quarter. South African-produced models will be sold locally and exported to markets across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Silverton Assembly Plant features state-of-the-art automation utilising Ford’s global manufacturing processes, and will be equipped to produce 10 000 Everest’s per annum. “The all-new Everest has been extremely well received since it was launched in September last year, with demand far outstripping supply,” said Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

everest-8_1800x1800

Currently, the Everest is imported from Thailand, using the locally produced 3.2-litre five-cylinder Duratorq TDCi engine. It is only available in South Africa in 3.2 Automatic guise in two specification levels – XLT and the range-topping Limited. With local production, a 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine will be added to the range, along with a wider spread of specification levels.

Duster 1.5 dCI Dynamique 4×2 Review

Duster 1.5 dCI Dynamique 4×2

The new facelifted and updated Duster now built in Romania has a few new elements: New alloy rims. Parking distance control (standard).Patterned fabric replaces plain seat and door panel design. 7” touchscreen satnav (Dynamique variants only). Cruise control is now standard.  Leather trim and seats are optional on all three derivatives.

Renault-Duster-Facelift-dCi-4x2-022-front

Product manager at Renault SA Jeffrey Allison said: “Moving production to Pitesti provides us with the opportunity to refresh Duster within a sharper turnaround time – good for the brand and good for our customers here in SA.”

I think that the quality has also been lifted.

This car is keen to go. Its power, and more to the point, torque to weight ratio is superb. You can literally stay in sixth gear when overtaking, or change down to fifth and blast past. It is a blast.

I got 6.7  litres/100km in mixed driving on my usual route which includes town, highway and a ten storey parking garage. You may get even better figures even as low as 5L/100km.

Renault-Duster-Facelift-dCi-4x2-103-dashI found the car suitably well equipped with cruise control, climate control, a great sound system but a slightly dodgy GPS concerning Cape Town map coverage. This may be upgradable.

The balance of the Duster is just so very good. It weighs really good power with really good fuel consumption. Acceleration is better than required for normal driving and top speed is way over 120km/h. The size is also good, not too big, not too little.

I prefer it to the more expensive Captur.

Consumption claimed of less than 5,  I got just less than 7 litre/100km

Duster 1.6 Expression 4×2 R222 900
Duster 1.6 Dynamique 4×2 R249 900
Duster 1.5 dCI Dynamique 4×2 R269 900
Duster 1.5 dCI Dynamique 4×4 R289 900

The Duster is sold with a five-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty, a three-year or 45 000km service plan (service intervals at 15 000km) and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Renault-Duster-Facelift-dCi-4x2-066-rear

Also look at the Renault Captur, Ford EcoSport, Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, Citroen Cactus, Suzuki SX4

Jordan Pepper a Bentley Boy

Jordan Pepper, 19, has been chosen as one of the Bentley Boys for the 2016 ADAC GT3 Masters series.

Bentley Team ABT on Monday confirmed Pepper as one of a team of six drivers set to drive its three Continental GT3 cars. Jordan will chase overall and Junior honours alongside 43-year old defending ADAC GT3 Gentleman’s champion Andreas Weishaupt in the Number 9 Bentley Continental GT, while Le Mans winning Briton Guy Smith shares the No. 8 car with Fabian Hamprecht and Formula E racer Daniel Abt and Christer Jöns will drive the No. 7 machine.

pepper

“I’m really excited to make the change to the Factory Bentley Abt Team for 2016 after a very tough but promising first year in the 2015 ADAC GT Masters,” Jordan admitted. “I am thankful that the team has seen promise in me — this is my second year in GT Racing and I will have a better understanding of what to expect.”

The ADAC GT Masters will see 20 teams entering 34 supercars in races through Germany, Austria and the Netherlands starting at Oscherslieben next weekend 15-17 April. There the Bentley Boys will face GT3 racing rivals the likes of the new Audi R8, BMW M6, Corvette C7, Lamborghini Huracán, Mercedes-AMG GT, Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911s fielded by 20 teams in a 34-car grid.