The 2012 motorsport season has opened on a grim note with two deaths in one weekend.
Multiple South African champion Curt Alchin, 44, one of the country's most versatile drivers, died after an accident at the Victory Raceway in Port Elizabeth on Saturday evening.
Alchin was awarded National colours on 2004 in recognition of his outstanding success in international oval-track racing.
His South African National championship titles include: 1995 Production Car Champion, 1999 Modified Saloons Champion, 2002 Standard 1600 Saloons Champion, 2005 Modified Saloons Dirt Champion, 2006 Modified Saloons 1600 Tar Champion.
Alchin was an honorary member of the Algoa Motorsport Club, awarded to him for his achievements and contributions to motorsport in Port Elizabeth.
He also competed successfully raced in the Engen VW Cup series in 2011.
Reigning Thunderbike Class B champion Wim Pretorius died on Sunday morning during the Day of the Champions motorcycle meeting at the Zwartkop Raceway, after crashing in Turn 5 during the first Thunderbikes race.
Pretorius, 37, was a relative latecomer to motorcycle racing; he entered the sport in 2009 and finished the season ninth overall in the Thunderbikes series despite competing in only eight of the 22 races.
In 2010 he competed in only four races, of which he won two and finished second in the other two, and in 2011 he won Class B of the Zwartkop Thunderbikes championship.