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After winning the Scirocco R-Cup title well ahead of the season’s final race, 18 year old Jordan Lee Pepper is setting his sights on securing a ride in the ADAC GT Masters series. Pepper, who considers Kimi Räikkönen and his father to be his role models, is looking to follow last year’s Scirocco R-Cup winner Kevin van der Linde into the prestigious series, with an end goal of competing in the Porsche Supercup and DTM race series.
Read the full Press Release below.
- Lists father and Formula One star Kimi Räikkönen as his role models
- Dreams of South African team alongside Kelvin van der Linde
- 18-year-old Pepper is also an outstanding golfer
When it was confirmed that he had won the title in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup in double-quick time, the first thing Jordan Lee Pepper did was give his father a big hug. “I dedicate this victory to my father and the entire family. They have made sacrifices in order to allow me to fulfil my dream of a motorsport career,” said the 18-year-old champion from South Africa. He then went on to explain that his father is also his motorsport role model – alongside “Iceman” Kimi Räikkönen (FIN).
Pepper likes the ex-Formula One World Champion’s coolness both on and off the racetrack. “He has this approach: what happens, happens. Then he gets back up and keeps fighting.” This very same approach was evident in “Iceman” Pepper’s performances throughout this year’s Scirocco R-Cup. After a historic hat-trick of wins to kick off the season, he then went three races without a victory. However, he picked himself up and went on to claim a further two wins and a second place, guaranteeing he succeeds his compatriot Kelvin van der Linde even before the final race of the season in Hockenheim on 18th October.
The fact that two South Africans have won back-to-back titles in the environmentally-sound one-make cup speaks volumes for the quality of motorsport in their beautiful country. Pepper, whose family not only includes his dad, but also one of South Africa’s top female racing drivers in his sister, began his career in a baby kart at the age of just four. After a good decade racing karts, he was crowned top rookie in the 2012 Volkswagen Polo Cup South Africa. Last year he ended the season third in the Scirocco R-Cup, before achieving the highlight of his career so far – winning this year’s title at the Nürburgring with races to spare.
However, this is just the start of things to come for the young man, who celebrated his 18th birthday on 31 July, meaning he can now officially drive on the roads. “Next year I would like to follow in the footsteps of Kelvin van der Linde and drive in the GT Masters. Maybe even in a South African team with Kelvin. That is something we have dreamed of since we were kids,” said Pepper. His ultimate motorsport goal is a seat in the DTM – another series that demands coolness and nerves of steel. Incidentally, these are qualities Jordan Lee Pepper likes to practice on the golf course near his home of Johannesburg. His handicap of 3 shows that he is extraordinary talents are not restricted to the racetrack.
Three questions for the Scirocco R-Cup champion
How did you get into motorsport?
Jordan Lee Pepper: “I have been going to the racetrack with my dad for as long as I can remember. My sister also races, and is one of the best female racing drivers in the country. I always knew that I wanted to be a professional racing driver.”
Who is your role model on the track?
Pepper: “Firstly, my dad. He raced himself for 31 years. Without him, my career would not have been possible. The other role model is Kimi Räikkönen. I like his style of driving. He has this approach: what happens, happens. Then he gets back up and keeps fighting.”
What plans do you have for the future?
Pepper: “Next year I would like to follow in the footsteps of Kelvin van der Linde and drive in the GT Masters. Maybe even in a South African team with Kelvin. That is something we have dreamed of since we were kids. Another option is the Porsche Carrera-Cup in Germany. I would like to drive in the DTM at some point.”