Michael Guest’s opening day at the Rally of Canberra came to an early end when he collided with a kangaroo, forcing him to retire his Pirtek Les Walkden Rally Subaru just a few kilometres into the fourth special stage of the eight stages scheduled.

Guest’s day had started promisingly enough, setting the fifth fastest time in the International rally on the opening stage, the second quickest of all the Australian Rally Championship competitors.

However, on the next stage bad luck struck when he bent the rear trailing arm after hitting a rock on the road, leaving his back left hand wheel at a 45 degree angle.

Running repairs were impossible, so he and co-driver David Green had to negotiate that rest of that stage and the next with damage that severely impacted on the handling of the car.

The pair returned to the service park for repairs having lost two minutes 25 seconds, but worse was still to come.

On the very next stage, on a fast straight section of pine forest thick with kangaroos, one jumped onto the road right in front of the Impreza WRX STI.

“It’s just one of those days that you can have rallying,” Guest said.

“There was nothing that we could do about it. We were going flat chat in fifth gear when a kangaroo came out of no where.

“Really, we were lucky that there wasn’t more damage done. The only real problem was that the radiator was slit, so we weren’t going anywhere without that being fixed.

“Within an hour of being towed back into the service park, the crew had it fixed and the car looked like nothing had happen.”

As Guest sat in his Pirtek Les Walkden Rallying truck while the rally continued around him, he was left with no choice but to focus on the day ahead.

“We started well today so we just need to get out there and resume were we left off.

“We’ll push hard, but as it is an identical to today’s stages we’re at a bit of a disadvantage to everyone else because we haven’t seen the stages that they all did this afternoon.

“In fact we only ran over one stage at pace today, the first one, so it is going to be really tough tomorrow as it will be the first pass we have of most stages plus the roads are going to be really cut up.

“My goal is to finish in the top three and leave Canberra with as many ARC points as we can get now. It is not the start to the season we wanted, that’s for sure.”

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