Twenty-year-old bike racer S. Dinesh has been fighting for his life at the General Hospital (GH) for the last few days, after skidding off the track during a practice session last Sunday at the MMRT in Irungattukottai.
Doctors attending on Dinesh, a B.Com student at the DG Vaishnav College here, said he was in a very critical condition as he had suffered “a severe injury to his head”.
The accident happened during the fourth lap when he was taking a turn at the Corner (C7) when his back tyre skidded forcing the Spark Racing Team racer to go off the track.
The run-off area, said many drivers who The Hindu spoke to at the GH on Tuesday, wasn’t smooth and the place where Dinesh fell, they insisted, was an open ditch nearly five feet deep. When there was no sign of Dinesh emerging, his friend and National-level racer Tamil Arasu went to locate him. “He was inside the ditch at C7 with his visor damaged. The helmet was in a relatively good condition, though,” said Arasu.
Lack of medical help
Many drivers said there wasn’t an ambulance, a doctor or first aid facility. Sparks Racing Team owner S. Ravi said, “There was nobody for help. We had to do everything ourselves.”
He was taken to a nearby hospital where the doctors said he was in very bad shape. Frantically they then took him to another private hospital which after an examination referred Dinesh to the GH.
Dinesh’s father Subramaniam, a Sub-Inspector with the Railway Protection Force, is putting up a brave face. “He is our only son. He had said ‘Dad don’t worry I will do well and my photos will appear in all leading newspapers and television channels.’
Outside the GH’s Emergency ward, Dinesh’s school friends were seen waiting anxiously not knowing their friend’s real condition.
“He is very shy, but very jovial. Only recently did he take up racing,” said his friend Ayappan.
Emmanuel Jebaraj, a representative of bike racers, said though the facilities at the track have improved a lot in the last one year, there is scope for improvement.
Meeting with MMSC
On Monday, many leading riders including reigning National 600cc champion K. Rajini, tuners and team owners met Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) officials and demanded better medical facilities, a marshal during practice sessions and the levelling of run-off areas. “They (MMSC officials) said they will look into it,” said Rajini.
Pramod Kumar, Secretary, MMSC said that, generally, there are no ambulances and doctors stationed on a plain practice day. Vicky Chandhok, President, FMSCI, said, there was no ditch at C7. “I have travelled the length and breath of the track. In fact he (Dinesh) went 20m beyond the edge of the track.
“The ditch (it is a water drain) is well away from the racing line. We have levelled the area in January this year. Periodic maintenance is being done.
“We have ordered an enquiry. In the light of the event, it has now been decided that in future, no session, official testing days, event days or open days, will be staged without an ambulance and medical facilities,” he said.
With inputs from Stan Rayan and N. Sudarshan