Mark Skaife's Nissan R32 GT-R Bathurst pole lap

Mark Skaife turns 49 today - happy birthday Skaifey!

To celebrate we've dug up one his finest moments, a scorching effort in the Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R to take pole for the 1991 Bathurst 1000.

Aged just 24, Skaife lit up the timesheets with a 2min12.63sec lap, more than 1.2sec clear of Mark Gibbs in another R32 GT-R and more than 2.2sec clear of Glenn Seton in the Peter Jackson Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500.

Even at this young age Skaife had earned plenty of success, including winning the Ford Laser one-make series in 1986, the Australian 2.0-litre Touring Car Championship in 1987 and the Class 1 Australian Off Road Championship in 1988.

In the early 1990s his career exploded, winning back-to-back Bathurst 1000 and Australian Driver's Championships in 1991 and 1992 and his first Australian Touring Car title in 1992.

He would go on to win a further four Bathurst 1000s and V8 Supercar titles making him one of Australia's most successful drivers.

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  • Yeah the Falcodore Teams were happy for the Nissans to race . . . . as long as they didn't win. The 1992 victory was a tad peculiar but some may think that of Brock's 1983 win. And Johnson won a shortened race in 1981? Admittedly, he was in the lead still racing when the race was stopped. In my opinion, Ford shot itself in the foot by not importing the Sierra RS500 to Australia. I wish they'd done that. Holden and Brock proved the value of a light weight car back in the days of the Torana XU-1's and the A9X's. I'd prefer my club sport car to be much closer to 1 tonne than 2 tonnes. I like the Win on Sunday Sell on Monday philosophy. Even though the current GTR may be great value, it's well out of reach of most race fans. I'd like to see Series Production Cars up to a cap of $80k racing at Bathurst over 1000 kms. Subaru STI's, BMW 135is, Ford Focuses, Toyota 86's etc.
  • Skaifey. Those were the good old days. The days when the cars running around Bathurst were MUCH closer to the cars we could buy for the road. And for that reason, I'd rather watch re-runs of Bathurst races from 1992 dating back to 1972 than the V8 Supercar races. I can still buy an R32 Skyline and run it on the road. V8 Supercars may look like our street cars - are there any other similarities? I see we have a Bathurst 6 Hour race now. FANTASTIC! Can't wait to see the Ford Focus running against the Subaru STI. Let's hope that Toyota fit a Harrop blower to the 86 - I'd like to see such a car running in the Bathurst 6 Hour. Remember Brock's 6 lap victory in 1979? That sort of car and driver talent should not be crushed for the sake of keeping audiences on the edges of their seats. I wish they'd find an alternative to the Bathurst Safety Car. Fit cars with "caution flag" speed limiters. Give the track marshals speed guns. Let those who have built up a lead on the track keep that lead.
  • As I was growing up I watched Nissan try & try again. The Bluebird Turbo, the R30 & R31 Skylines then Fred got his hands on the R32 GTR. At the end of 1990 the world was watching to see what this car could do & the rest of the ATC field sobbed at the all mighty Skyline which was nicknamed "Godzilla" in the following year where it won just about every race there was to win including the Bathurst in 1991. In 1992 the GTR was forced to carry more weight & less power to satisfy its whinging competitors who couldn't catch it but the GTR still won most of the races. The R32 GTR is one hell of a beast. It wouldn't surprise me to see the GTR return soon to Supercars !
  • Man that was very fast and enjoyable to watch. Now I can see what all the hype was with this car.