Skaife takes on chief driver trainer role for Celebrity Challenge

Mark Skaife

Mark Skaife

Mark Skaife will be the chief driver trainer for the Mazda 6 Celebrity Challenge at the 2013 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

Each of the celebrities will be schooled by Skaife in a comprehensive three-day training program, culminating with them being awarded a CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) racing licence.

Skaife’s job will be not only to prepare the celebrities for the race, as well as to control the ‘red mist’ factor.

“Those involved in the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge will be, by nature, quite competitive,” said Skaife.

“They all want to do well, and it is our job to teach them how to stay safe and enjoy the experience while keeping them under control – which can be quite a challenge at times.

“We have undertaken this type of driver training before and many of the participants have said it is one of the best weeks of their lives.

“For my team and me, when it comes to teaching a celebrity how to drive a race car, they need to learn the key competencies such as car handling and braking and understanding line and length to reach requisite racing driver status.

“A lot of what the drivers learn will improve their driving skills, not just on the race track but also on the road.”

The Mazda 6 Celebrity Challenge features 20 all-new Mazda6 SKYACTIV diesel sedans.

There are eight of the 20 celebrities confirmed so far, with Anna Meares (olympic cyclist), Matthew Cowdrey (paralympic swimmer), Sir Chris Hoy (olympic cyclist), Chris Tarrant (AFL), Shane Delia (celebrity chef), Em Rusciano (media personality), Mark Beretta (TV sports reporter) and Rachel Finch (model) set to take the grid.

And the celebrities could hardly be in better hands, as Skaife is the most winningest driver in Australian touring car history (90 race wins). The retired driver is now the chairman of the V8 Supercars commission, as well as a lead commentator for the series on the Seven Network.

The 2013 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix will take place from March 14-17.

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