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Sunday, May 26, 2024


THE car that Mark Skaife drove to his second Australian Touring Car Championship victory is set to be restored back to its title-winning form.

Skaife’s second of an eventual five ATCC/Supercars titles was also his first in a Holden, piloting a Winfield-backed Gibson Motorsport Commodore to the 1994 title.

The victory was the fourth and final ATCC win for Gibson Motorsport – all earnt in a span of five seasons – and ended a 13-year championship drought for Holden, which had not claimed the touring car title since Peter Brock’s third and last ATCC win in 1980.

Skaife leads the field on his way to victory in the final ATCC race held at Amaroo Park. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

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Built brand new for 1994, Skaife drove the same chassis throughout his title winning season, which began with six straight wins across the Amaroo Park, Sandown and Symmons Plains rounds.

Upgraded to VR specifications for 1995, teammate Jim Richards took over the car for the season and shared it with Skaife at the Sandown 500, before serving as the team’s #2 entry at Bathurst for Anders Oloffson and then-rookie Steven Richards.

The car then went to Garry Rogers Motorsport in 1996, the team’s first season in the ATCC/Supercars Championship and the rookie season for Richards, who shared the car with father Jim at the Sandown and Bathurst enduros.

Steven Richards won the 1996 Privateers Cup with this car. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

GRM sold the car on to the late Garry Dumbrell for Darren Hossack to race in Wynn’s colours in 1997, and it returned to Gibson Motorsport in 1998 where it was raced by Darren Pate in upgraded VS Commodore panelwork.

Its front-line racing life ended with a major crash at Bathurst at the end of that year and the badly damaged shell was later sold to New Zealand where it was repaired and raced, retaining many of the period-correct Gibson Motorsport components.

Eventually, the chassis returned to Australia and was put back to VR Commodore trim and was returned to the livery it wore at the 1995 Sandown 500.

The car was purchased by a private collector late last year, who has commissioned a restoration that will return the car to its original VP specifications from the 1994 season.

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