K E Kumar, a well-respected racer, died on Sunday, January 8, following a crash in the second round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship at the Madras International Circuit in Chennai. He was 59. The incident occurred when Kumar’s car came in contact with that of a competitor during the saloon cars race this morning. The car slid across the track and landed on the roof after slamming into a fence.
The race was immediately stopped (red flag). Within minutes, Kumar was extricated from the wreckage and transferred into an ambulance before being shifted to a nearby hospital after a preliminary examination at the track’s medical centre. Despite the best efforts of the hospital’s doctors, he succumbed to his injuries.
Chairman of the Meet Vicky Chandhok said: “It is a most unfortunate incident. Kumar was an experienced racer. I have known him for several decades as a friend and competitor. The MMSC and entire racing fraternity mourn his passing away and convey heartfelt condolences to his family.”
In 2017, popular car racer Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha were charred to death after their BMW lost control, rammed a tree and burst into flames at Pattinampakkam in Chennai. The two passengers were unable to get out of the car in time.
Police officials had told TNM that the incident happened around 3:30am and both Ashwin and his wife died on the spot. They also confirmed that Ashwin was driving above the permissible speed limit.