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Mark Skaife

Mark Stephen Skaife OAM (born 3 April 1967 in Gosford, New South Wales) is an Australian motor racing driver. Skaife is a five time winner of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, including its predecessor the Australian Touring Car Championship. He is also a six-time winner of Australia's most prestigious domestic motor race, the Bathurst 1000. On 29 October 2008, he announced his retirement from full-time touring car racing but continues to compete on a part-time basis. Skaife's most visible role today is as a colour-commentator for Channel 7's broadcast of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Skaife began racing karts in the 1980s. His first car race was at Amaroo Park in 1984, at the wheel of a Holden Torana XU-1 sports sedan, which was partly built by his father, Russell. The following year, Skaife joined the Ford Laser Series, finishing second in the series. Skaife again finished runner up in 1986. Skaife was due to race at Bathurst that year, however his co-driver and team owner, Peter Williamson, crashed the teams Toyota Supra heavily during practise and the entry was withdrawn.

Skaife joined the Holden Racing Team full-time for 1998, alongside Craig Lowndes. Skaife won his third title in 2000, and also won the Queensland 500 with Lowndes. Also in 2000, Skaife pulled off a last-to-first performance in the second race of the Clipsal 500. Skaife successfully defended his crown in 2001, taking a third Bathurst win with Tony Longhurst. In 2002, Skaife had a fantastic season, and he himself has said that the 2002 season was the best he has ever driven.[1] Skaife won seven of the thirteen rounds, and took his fourth Bathurst title driving with Jim Richards.

2003 saw Skaife finish third in the series, winning the Sandown 500 with Todd Kelly along the way. 2004 did not hold much for Skaife, and he finished 12th in the standings, with his best result 2nd overall at Oran Park. In 2005, he collected his fifth Bathurst win, on the way to 5th in the title. At Pukekohe in 2006, Skaife equalled Peter Brock's long-standing record of 37 ATCC round wins, and moved ahead when he won at Eastern Creek in 2007. He also made his 200th championship start at Phillip Island that year, and marked the celebration by running car number 200. Skaife collected his final round win at the 2008 L&H 500, when he paired with Garth Tander.

Mark Skaife at Queensland Raceway 2008On 29 October 2008, Skaife announced that he would be retiring from full-time driving in the V8 Supercar Championship Series. Skaife was given a farewell and tribute at the final round of the series, which was also the last V8 Supercar round at Oran Park Raceway. Skaife sold his interest in Holden Racing Team to Tom Walkinshaw, who owned the team before his UK business collapsed in 2002.

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