South African racing legend Bob Olthoff has died in the US after battling cancer.

South African racing legend, Bob Olthoff, died in the US last week after battling cancer.

Olthoff, who won more international races than any of his contemporaries, was encouraged to move to Europe after his early successes. There he became involved in the development and racing of the iconic Cobra with the John Willment team. While in Europe, he also had the opportunity to race at Le Mans for Austin Healey.

He later returned to South Africa with two Cobras and the Willment Ford Galaxie with which he won the national championship. Following that he secured two SA sports car titles and the Formula 5000 championship in 1970. He also set the national land speed record of 295 km/h in a McLaren Elva.

Olthoff enjoyed significant success in off-road and airplane racing events and emigrated to the US with his family in 1997.