Bathurst 24 Hours – Roo Watch
Matt Priestly is the MD of MGP Feral Animal Control Services Pty. Ltd., and he was the man called in last year to try to ensure no 'mishaps' between race cars and kangaroos.

What a European couldn't reasonably be expected to know is that drivers on public roads here can be killed after an impact with a kangaroo - if, for example, the beast goes through the windscreen.

"The animal will be frightened and probably injured, and it can thrash out and kill the occupants of a car."

So Matt bluntly explained that it's better to hit the animal at a faster speed than usually found on the Australian highways - but not too fast.

dailysportscar.comThe kangaroo problem here at Mount Panorama is most likely to arise during the (currently ongoing) 20.50 - 21.50 evening session, because kangaroos are most likely to be on the move within two hours of dawn and dusk - and by tomorrow, the daft animals should be aware of race traffic constantly confronting them on their usual route across this area. This evening, there could be less traffic on the track - and this is the first time the animals will have come across Ferraris etc. within the time period stated above.

Precautions are being taken though.

"If marshals see kangaroos on the move, they will notify race control," says Matt Priestly. "In addition, as we did last year, we have electronic devices placed in the most likely areas, to frighten off the kangaroos. And by tomorrow, we'll have 18 of the race cars fitted with sonic animal repellers."

So we'll have to hope that this evening's session passes without incident: in particular, that a mob of 50 of the buggers doesn't decide to cross this narrow strip of tarmac. They do travel in a mob of around 50, apparently.


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