Mark Skaife OAM, one of Australian motorsport’s most successful drivers, returns to the track in March, this time to train some of Australia’s best known personalities in the Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge at the 2013 Formula 1 ® Australian Grand Prix.
Skaife holds the all-time win record in V8 Supercars with 90 career race victories. He won five V8 Supercars championships and has six Bathurst 1000 crowns to his name.
Mazda has joined forces with the Formula 1 ® Australian Grand Prix, to pull together a diverse and impressive group of celebrities. The participants will undergo intensive training before taking to the spectacular Albert Park Circuit, entertaining the fans as they battle it out for victory.
Each of the celebrities will be schooled by Skaife in the finer skills of racing during a comprehensive three-day training program, culminating with them being awarded a CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) racing licence.
“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,” said Skaife.
“For my team and I, 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 exercises and understand 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 Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge, featuring 20 All-New Mazda6 SKYACTIV diesel sedans, is expected to draw great interest at the 2013 Formula 1 ® Australian Grand Prix taking place from 14 to 17 March.
So far eight of the 20 celebrities who will be racing at the event have been revealed. The 2013 Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge was launched in October with the announcement that Australia’s greatest ever Paralympian, Matthew Cowdrey OAM, London Olympics Golden Girl, Anna Meares OAM and Britain’s most accomplished Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy MBE will be starters in the event.
Most recently, former AFL star Chris Tarrant, celebrity chef Shane Delia and media personality Em Rusciano have joined the grid along with television sports reporter Mark Beretta and former Miss Universe, model and television presenter Rachel Finch.
Skaife’s job will be to not only prepare the celebrities for the rigors of motor racing, but help them control what professional drivers call ‘red mist’ or uncontrolled aggressive behaviour.
“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.”
All-New Mazda6 features the ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ design theme and SKYACTIV Technology featuring i-ELOOP, a unique capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system which is standard across the entire All-New Mazda6 range.