Whether you stand on the blue or the red side of the line, there is no argument that Mark Skaife is one of the true legends of the V8 Supercar track and today he will call an end to his illustrious career. After more than 20 years in the racing suit Skaife will today announce at a Melbourne press conference that this will be his last season behind the wheel of his HRT Commodore.
After recording some disappointing results this season, the five-time Bathurst champion has been fighting off speculation of a retirement for a good part of the year. His official announcement of hanging up the boots may see young gun Will Davison make the trek over from Ford to fill the Skaife void next season but Davidson hasn’t confirmed anything yet. Retirement talk stepped up after Skaife crashed out of contention at his favourite circuit, Bathurst, and later admitted driver fault.
All that aside, Skaife will undoubtedly go down in the record books as one of the sport’s most successful drivers. He made his touring car debut at Sandown in 1987 in a Nissan Gazelle and went on to take out the championship five times, the first in 1992. He continued to be one of the leading drivers throughout his career and replaced the late Peter Brock as the face of Holden in 1998. After 210 starts, Skaife has built up an impressive list of achievements and the question is now, what will he do next?
Despite putting the brakes on his racing career, there is no doubt 41-year-old Skaife’s blood runs red – Holden red that is and his involvement with the company will no doubt continue. While he will no doubt enjoy the extra time with his wife and three children, chances are we will also see his face around the media circuit with which he already has a good profile and who knows, maybe even a commentating role. Whatever he chooses next, I’m sure we won’t see the Holden legend fade into obscurity.