Mark Kirby

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Template:Infobox Racing Driver

Mark Kirby (born 11/2/1980 in Perth, Australia) is a racing driver known for his domination of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in the mid-to-late 2000s. He drove for the works Škoda team in the 2003 World Rally Championship season, scoring one point in his home rally, but with many disappointments.

Early Career

Kirby first started out rallying when his father took a Toyota Celica to Tasmania to compete in the Targa Tasmania in 1996. Mark helped to work on the car between stages, but it retired on leg 3 just before reaching Devonport. Two years later, he took the Celica back, this time as the driver. The car retired again, when the gearbox broke on the final day. In 1999, he bought a Subaru Impreza to compete in the Australia Rally Championship. In his first season of competition, he won the championship, edging out New Zealander Possum Bourne. In 2000, as well as running the Australian Rally Championship, he competed in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, winning the season opening Rally Indonesia, but finishing fourth overall in the championship. He continued racing there in 2001 and 2002, finishing third both times. His performances gained the attention of Škoda Motorsport, especially when he drove an Octavia in one event.

World Rally Championship

In 2003 he was given a new Octavia to drive in the WRC. At the Monte Carlo Rally, he finished in tenth place, after spinning during the opening stage. His teammate Toni Gardemeister retired. Kirby had difficulties for the next few rallies, retiring on the first day in crahses in both Sweden and Turkey and finishing 17th in New Zealand after a mechanical problem during the first stage. His next few rallies were all marred by reliability issues, until before the Rally Finland he was given a brand new Škoda Fabia to drive. He was fairly competitive, but on the third to last stage he landed awkwardly after a jump and crashed out. At his home rally outside his home town he was competitive once again, winning a stage on day 2 and finishing 8th, scoring his first and only point. However, a combination of reliability and simple mistakes resulted in four more retirements in the last four rallies. Škoda fired him at season's end, and he was unable to land another drive.

Asia-Pacific Domination

In 2004, he returned to Australia and raced in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship once again, driving an Octavia. He won four of the six rallies, dominating the championship. With a brand new Subaru Impreza in 2005, he won every rally, winning the championship for the second time. He continued in a similar form for the next few years, only ever being beaten once or twice a year. In 2010, he was injured in a roll in New Caledonia. The next event, Rally Indonesia, was cancelled, but he missed the season end in China. However, having won every other rally during the season, he still won the championship. After his crash though, he retired from the Asia-Pacific Championship, and only raced in some major events in Australia, including winning Targa Tasmania in 2009 in a Nissan GT-R. In 2011, he leased a Škoda Fabia S2000 to race at Rally Australia near Coffs Harbour.

Complete WRC Results

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pts DC
2003 Škoda Motorsport Octavia WRC MON
10
SWE
Ret
TUR
Ret
NZL
17
ARG
13
GRE
Ret
CYP
16
GER
Ret
1 25th
Fabia WRC FIN
Ret
AUS
8
ITA
Ret
FRA
Ret
ESP
Ret
GBR
Ret
2011 Kirby Racing Fabia S2000 SWE MEX POR JOR ITA ARG GRE FIN GER AUS
9
FRA ESP GBR 0 NC

Complete TMRRC Results

Year Team Car NC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts DC
2015 ZimSport Rally Team Subaru Impreza WRC PRO
12
MON
10
NOR
C
QAT
C
NZL
C
POR
C
GER
C
FRA
C
KEN
C
JPN
C
WAL
C
0 NC