'Roo Ends Nissan's Bathurst 1000
17 October 2013 - Wheels News
A kangaroo ended David Russell's Bathurst 1000 race in Australia when it hopped onto the track and into the path of the Nissan driver.
SYDNEY, Australia - Former champion Todd Kelly's Bathurst 1000 race ended before it really began on October 13 when co-driver David Russell collided with a kangaroo on lap 20 of the endurance classic.
Officials report that Russell was travelling at 160km/h when the marsupial leapt into his path. Despite the collision, the kangaroo managed to jump off the circuit though the impact caused severe damage to the front of the Nissan, ending Kelly/Russell's race.
'THE GREAT RACE'
The crew chose not to repair the kangaroo-damaged racer but instead focused on the team’s second entry, driven by Rick Kelly and Karl Reindler.
Kelly, the 2005 winner, was leading Nissan's return to the race after two decades but was crestfallen after the marsupial found its way on to the Mount Panorama track.
Kelly said: "Skippy jumped out in front. You can tick every box but there are things that you just can't control at Bathurst. This is my 16th crack at it but it was probably the toughest."
The roo-crash caused the first of two yellow flags in the five-hour, 1000km event - known in Australia simply as "The Great Race". It was eventually won by Ford's Mark Winterbottom after a dramatic finish.