In­sight makes a clear Mark

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

MARK Skaife has al­ways been a lit­tle one-eyed. His loy­alty to Holden in re­cent years has been a to­tal red wash, even if he be­gan his topline rac­ing ca­reer with Nis­san and also did some long-dis­tance cameos with Mazda.

And now I think I know why. One of Skaife’s eyes was in­jured when his Nis­san GT-R Godzilla crashed in prac­tice for a sup­port­ing race at the 1990 Aus­tralian Grand Prix in Ade­laide.

The crash was on the same high-speed right­hand bend where Mika Hakki­nen was al­most killed af­ter a tyre fail­ure on his F1 McLaren.

The eye­sight in­ci­dent is one of the gems that pops out from his new book, Skaifey— Life in the Fast Lane.

There have been sev­eral Skaife books but this one, writ­ten with long-time race fan An­drew Clarke, fi­nally digs deep enough to sat­isfy peo­ple who want to know more about the most suc­cess­ful racer of his gen­er­a­tion.

He goes soft on de­tails of the fi­nal years with the Holden Rac­ing Team, and the lead-up to his de­ci­sion to re­tire, but oth­er­wise it’s rich on de­tail and in­sight.

Skaifey can get a bit mud­dled and repet­i­tive at times, as the author tries to wrap his story around the years and races of his long ca­reer, but the book cov­ers all the big-ticket items, from his early mo­ti­va­tion and train­ing to his on-track ri­val­ries and his busi­ness deal­ings.

It’s the first in a se­ries of race-theme books to be pub­lished in com­ing months and sets the bar pretty high.

Craig Lown­des is work­ing with jour­nal­ist Mark Fog­a­rty on his first book, Jamie Whin­cup has a diary of his cham­pi­onship year, and there will be an­other Peter Brock book with a new per­spec­tive be­fore Christ­mas.

As usual, Skaife has taken pole po­si­tion and — though it’s not per­fect— Skaifey is a good read with plenty of gen­uine in­sights.

The book is pub­lished by Ebury Press and is priced at $34.95.

Paul Gover Na­tional edi­tor

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