Shreyas Hareesh, a 13-year-old racing prodigy from Bengaluru, tragically lost his life due to injuries sustained in a crash during the third round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship at the Madras International Circuit in Chennai on Saturday.
The promoter of the event, Madras Motor Sports Club, immediately canceled the remaining races scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in light of the devastating incident.
Born on July 26, 2010, Shreyas, a student of Kensri School in Bengaluru, was an emerging star in the racing world.
He had showcased exceptional talent by winning several races at the National level, including four consecutive wins in the rookie category of the Petronas TVS One-Make Championship this season.
The unfortunate incident occurred shortly after the start of the rookie race, for which Shreyas had qualified for pole position earlier that morning. Exiting Turn-1, he suffered a crash resulting in a grievous head injury.
The race was immediately red-flagged, and he was promptly taken to a nearby hospital in a trauma care ambulance stationed at the track. However, despite the medical attention, he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital, with his father, Copparam Hareesh, by his side.
Ajit Thomas, the president of MMSC, expressed the deep sorrow felt by the motorsport community. “It is tragic to have lost a rider so young and talented. Shreyas, who was making waves with his prodigious racing talent, was provided medical assistance on the spot immediately after the incident and taken to the hospital,” PTI quoted Thomas as saying.
In May of the same year, Shreyas had won the MiniGP India title and participated in the MiniGP races in Spain, securing respectable fifth and fourth positions in both races. He was set to compete in the MSBK Championship 2023 at Sepang Circuit, Malaysia, in August, representing team CRA Motorsports in the 250cc category (Group B).
This is the second fatality in Indian motorsport this year. In January, KE Kumar, 59, a renowned and respected racer, passed away in the hospital following a crash during the second round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 at the Madras International Circuit.