Ultra successful Australian V8 Supercar ace Mark Skaife starts his 200th tround of the championship this weekend.
Holden Racing Team driver Mark Skaife will join an elite group of racers when he makes his 200th V8 Supercar/Australian Touring Car race start at Phillip Island, near Melbourne, this weekend.
He joins the John Bowe (225 starts), the late Peter Brock (212), Glenn Seton (205) and Dick Johnson (202) as the 2007 season ends.
This weekend, Bowe will be making his final start as a regular in the series.
Skaife has also set a benchmark for the career wins/rounds ratio for drivers completing more than 200 rounds. He has won every 5.2 rounds during his career.
Skaife also holds the record for most ever round wins (38) and most championships (five, together with Ian Geoghegan and Dick Johnson), plus five Bathurst 1000 victories.
“When I started out 20 years ago I never envisaged those sort of statistics,” says Skaife. “Chalking up 200 isn’t easy in such a competitive environment and I suppose now that John Bowe is retiring there’s incentive to reel him in over the next couple of seasons.
“Two hundred is a nice milestone and it seems that it’s taken no time at all to get there.
“V8 racing being what it is, there’s highlights and lowlights, but there’s been some special race moments over the journey.
“The first was in 1992 when I won my first Touring Car Championship in the Nissan and then being the youngest ever to do so. That same day we also won the Australian Drivers Championship in a Formula Holden open wheeler, so it was a great day.
“The second was winning the V8 Championship in 1994 with a Fred Gibson Commodore as it was Holden’s first title for 14 years since Brock and HDT in 1980.
“The 2002 HRT Bathurst win with Jim Richards was also one of my favourite moments, as it sealed the championship at the same time and came 10 years after my first Bathurst success.
“The 38th victory at Eastern Creek this year was another obvious highlight in that it surpassed Peter Brock’s record,” said Skaife. “I guess 2007 has been a memorable year, what with the 38 wins, 20 year and 200 round milestones.”