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The ‘Golden Child’ that tops Skaife’s list

Mark Skaife has recalled some of his greatest Bathurst moments in a Holden with winning in a plastic bag covered Commodore topping his Mount Panorama list.With the famous Australian brand set to farewell Bathurst next week after one final fight against Ford, Holden’s favourite son returned to Mount Panorama with a selection of the manufacturer’s…

Mark Skaife has recalled some of his greatest Bathurst moments in a Holden with winning in a plastic bag covered Commodore topping his Mount Panorama list.

With the famous Australian brand set to farewell Bathurst next week after one final fight against Ford, Holden’s favourite son returned to Mount Panorama with a selection of the manufacturer’s greatest race cars.

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And while the 1968 race winning Monaro that his father worked on holds a special place in his heart, it is the Commodore nicknamed “Golden Child” that realty get Skaife’s blood racing.

“The Golden Child is the car that won the race in 2001 and 2002,’ Skaife said.

“That car, Chassis No. 45 for Holden Racing Team, won two championships, two Bathurst’s and two Clipsal’s. It is one of the most successful Holden’s of all time. That is my favourite car for sure.’’

Especially after the car survived a plastic bag scare to win Bathurst in 2002 after he defied team orders by keeping his foot flat to the floor.

“There were plastic bags all over the front of the car,” Skaife said.

“Everyone was hysterical in the pit-area telling me to take it easy because the engine was overheating. They were trying to get me to slow down so it would make it home.

“The water temperature got to 117 degrees Celsius which is pretty bloody hot. It was a pretty anxious last ten laps for everyone.”

While Skaife only gave cars that underperformed names that we can’t repeat, the back-to-back Bathurst got a rare nickname.

“One of my best mates Craig Kelly came up with the Golden Child,” Skaife said.

“He knew how much I loved the car so he just called it the Golden Child. I never had names for my cars. I couldn’t ever get passionate about them because I treated them so badly.”

Holden will officially quit Supercars at the end of the year following the collapse of the company.

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While the Commodore is expected to race on without official support next year, the last of the ‘factory’ Holdens will take on Mount Panorama when the Bathurst 1000 begins next week

Skaife was reunited with the first ever Bathurst winning Holden this week during a Mount Panorama photo shoot.

His father worked on the Holden Monaro before Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland drove it to immortality in 1968.

“That car was from the local Wyong Holden dealer where I grew up,’ Skaife said.

“Bruce lived at Wyong and my Dad worked on the car. It started Holden’s dynasty. I was only one when it won but I do have pictures of me sitting on the boot-lid of the car. My family and a tyre business which was only a couple of hundred meters away from the Wyong Holden dealership.”

*The Bathurst channel switches onto Foxtel channel 506 from Monday through to race day on Sunday, October 18. Every session of the Bathurst 1000 is live and ad-break free on Foxtel and Kayo.

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