Desire lingers for Skaife racing return

Friday 4th October, 2013 - 4:00am


Mark Skaife's last full-time racing season came in 2008

Mark Skaife’s last full-time racing season came in 2008

Mark Skaife’s trademark competitive streak could eventually see the five-time V8 Supercars champion back behind the wheel on a regular basis.

The now 46-year-old retired from full-time V8 Supercars competition at the end of 2008, continuing as an endurance co-driver until assuming Commission Chairman duties two years ago.

Skaife’s Commission tenure ends this month, after which he will take up a new advisory role at V8 Supercars that will no longer prevent him from competing in the class.

Skaife stresses, however, that any move to return to racing would be based around enjoyment, with his main focus remaining in the administration side of the sport.

“I haven’t made my mind up, but clearly I miss the competition, which has been a big part of my life,” he told when asked of a possible return to racing following his Commission exit.

“I had half a day at Phillip Island in a (Porsche Cars Australia-owned) Carrera Cup car a couple of weeks ago which I really enjoyed.

“If I was to contemplate doing some races then I’d want to make sure that it’s something that I would enjoy, like the Porsche (Carrera) Cup.”

Skaife competed in the Carrera Cup at the AGP in 2011 and 2012

Skaife competed in the Carrera Cup at the AGP in 2011 and 2012

Skaife has two Carrera Cup round starts to his name, undertaking guest drives at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix meeting in 2011 and 2012.

Both were made easier by the absence of television commitments at Albert Park.

Skaife remains under contract to commentate on the V8 Supercars Championship television broadcasts until the Seven Network’s deal runs out at the end of 2014.

“The hard part is the time on the weekend,” he said of more Carrera Cup outings.

“When you’ve got to do the television stuff it’s hard to make that work.

“But if the events weren’t somewhere I had to work at, meaning if I wasn’t doing the television side of it, then I would probably go and do that (the Carrera Cup).”

Skaife had for some time been resigned to the knowledge that he would not be re-elected to the Commission Chairman role beyond October, with significant unrest existing in the paddock surrounding his leadership.

“It was a very complex time with the introduction of the Car of the Future, but I think that the Commission has worked very, very well,” he said of his tenure.

“There will always be complexity and emotion attached with issues like parity.

“We haven’t had to deal with parity for 20 years and I’m confident that we’ve got the fundamentals and rules of engagement attached to how we deal with that moving forward.

“The new role that I’ve taken up is much more of a commercial business role for the sport involving the things that I like in terms of the strategy and direction and development of what we do,” he added.

“Whether that’s new car companies coming to the Car of the Future or whatever, that’s going to across my desk and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Skaife has this year put together a wildcard entry for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 with his long-time sponsor Microsoft Xbox.

The Triple Eight run car and its international guest drivers Mattias Ekstrom and Andy Priaulx are today enjoying the second half of a two-day test at Queensland Raceway.

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