TRAGEDY IN SA MOTORSPORT: SA motorcyclists Ghislain Van der Merwe (left) and Anthony Shelley have both passed away following two separate crashes. Images: MSA
Cape Town - South African motorsport is in mourning following the deaths of two young racers - riders Anthony Shelley and Ghislain van der Merwe.
The pair were involved in separate crashes over the same period in April 2016.
Killed on the road
Motorsport South Africa (MSA) reports that young motorcycle racer Shelley was killed in a road crash earlier on Monday (April 4).
MSA said: "It was clear to everybody who saw Anthony (Shelley) in action on a race bike that he possessed a rare talent for motorcycle racing and that a bright future in the sport lay ahead of him.
"Sadly, Anthony’s huge potential in a sport he clearly loved will now never be fully realised and MSA extends its heartfelt condolences to Anthony’s family and friends on his untimely passing. Rest in peace, Anthony. You will be sorely missed."
Tim Cook, a representative from Shelley's racing team, said: "Anthony raced in the SuperGP Champions Trophy which is South Africa’s premier national superbike series. He raced in the 1000cc SuperGP class and was a privateer supported by his father, Wayne Shelley and sponsors Fercor Contruction, Supreme Licensing, Tarpave Amtek and Shimwells Yamaha.
"He achieved two second place podium finishes in the first championship round at Redstar Raceway this year and was lying 5th in the national championship and 3rd in the northern regions championship."
South African Nation Off-road Racing Association (SANORA) has confirmed the death of young Ghislain van der Merwe, who sustained severe head injuries during the South African Cross Country Vryburg Race on Saturday (April 2).
According to a statement issued by the family: "Ghislain was taken off life support on Monday (Apr 4) following his accident on the weekend."
SANORA and the SA motorcycle racing community extend their sincere condolences to the Van der Merwe family.
Van der Merwe, from Boksburg, raced a KTM 200 XC-W in the High School Class. He would have celebrated his 16th birthday in May 2016.
Enduro World said on their Facebook page: "Tragically, young Ghislain van der Merwe passed away yesterday. Though he has gone to an eternally happy place where his beautiful smile will fit so perfectly, his passing is unimaginably hard for his beloved Mom and Dad, Mel and Dean, and his many close friends and family.
In this sport we don't have friends, only family - so our deepest condolences to Mel and Dean especially, but also to everyone who knew and loved Ghislain. Our heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with you all. Ghislain's funeral will be at Trinity Methodist Church, Cresta Road, Sunward Park, Boksburg - on Wednesday April 13 at 2pm.
"In memory of Ghislain van der Merwe, Enduro World will donate a printed black arm band for all riders to wear while riding in this weekends race - Nomadik EWXC round 3 in Heidelberg. Donations made towards the bands will be given to the family. Womza will be selling day license for riders who wish to join in at R100. per license and R80. of this will be donated to the family."
Contact Enduro World on 011 792 1136 for more information.