In the lead-up to the Superloop Adelaide 500, Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard took a detour to visit the fire-ravaged Kangaroo Island yesterday. The Island, only a short ferry ride away from the mainland, is home to just under 5,000 people and an incredible array of wildlife.

Unfortunately bushfires hit the island hard in December and January, with two residents losing their lives and untold thousands of wildlife perishing. The world-famous Flinders Chase National Park was all but destroyed, with 96% of the park burnt out. Many residents have lost homes and livelihoods, and are in need of as much assistance as possible.

Shell V-Power Racing Team Managing Director and co-owner Ryan Story, a proud South Australian, saw the destruction of this special place and wanted to do something to help. We sent a call-out to our partner group, and they came back in spades with a fantastic array of good donated to be taken to the people of Kangaroo Island.

“Watching the devastation from afar was quite distressing,” said Story. “I love Kangaroo Island, it’s one of the crown jewels of not just my home state, but of Australia. We’re in a very fortunate position, so we mobilised our troops, so to speak, and got to work to try to make a small difference.”

Scott and Fabian get up close with the locals

A Penske Truck Rental vehicle was loaded with tools kits care of Repco and Wurth, bottled water thanks to Coles Express, non-perishable food stuffs from Three Threes, and a variety of clothing/merchandise from both Penske and our merchandise suppliers at TPF Sports.

Our first stop was the fantastic organisation Island Care at Kingscote, who have been distributing goods to residents in needs. Catherine Kewley, the manager of Island Care, said it was great to have some excitement and smiles around at this difficult time.

“It is nice to have things that are exciting for people and they were certainly excited to meet everyone,” said Kewley. “The tools are already on the way to the farmers and there are many happy smiles, which is a rarity these days.”

Following the visit to Island Care, Scott and Fabian took a tour of the island, including a visit to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park – where many injured wildlife are being assisted as they recover, and an incredible dolphin swim thanks to Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures.

For Scott, who held a koala for the very first time, it was a eye opening day.

“It’s very impressive and quite overwhelming seeing it all and the people that run Island Care are absolutely saints of the earth,” he said. “Kangaroo Island is rebuilding and certainly fully open for business.”

Fabian said that he wasn’t sure what to expect when they landed on the island.

“Obviously we’ve seen the bad side of it with the fires,” Coulthard said. “We’ve been amazed at what it’s like. To actually land here, have a look around the island and see what’s on offer is pretty awesome, I recommend you come check it out and have a look yourself.”