Motorsport Australia is saddened to hear of the recent passing of Victorian official, Ian 'Skip' Taylor.
A popular figure within the Victorian motor racing community, Taylor made a name for himself as the main course car driver at events of all levels.
Born in 1944, Skip’s first involvement within motorsport came in the mid 1960s when he attended a race meeting at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as a guest.
Skip was so captivated by the nature of the event, he signed up as a Phillip Island Auto Racing Club (PIARC) member on the spot and began as a Flag Marshal at the club’s very next meeting.
It didn’t take long for Skip to impress those around him due to his work ethic and soon enough, he had added to Sandown Raceway his regular visits, where he really blossomed as an official.
In the 1970s, his hard work was awarded when was delegated as one of the circuit’s first ever Sector Marshals, before going on to become what he would later be known for, the circuit’s course car driver.
From that point on, Skip made that role his. He was highly touted as the course car driver and did it at almost every race meeting at Sandown and Phillip Island for more than 30 years.
From local club events to Virgin Australia Supercars Championship rounds, Taylor’s reliability behind the wheel and his diligence in scanning the track set a whole new standard of the role.
In 1985, Skip was then part of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix as one of two course marshals and unsurprisingly, was chosen to be the main course car driver for every Australian Grand Prix up until 2019.
Also acting as an assistant Clerk of Course on many occasions, Taylor was extremely organised in managing meetings and was a well-respected mentor for many officials at both Sandown and Phillip Island.
A fun and caring individual, Taylor had a serious side when work needed to be done and he was so respected for his abilities, his workings would provide the backbone of both the Course Car and incident controller manuals at Phillip Island.
A dedicated club member of both PIARC and the Light Car Club of Victoria, Skip was recognised for his dedication to the sport with a Motorsport Australia Service Award in 2018.
Losing a long battle with oronasal cancer, Skip is survived by his wife Margaret, his two sons James and David and two grandchildren, Jenson and Charlotte.
Motorsport Australia would like to extend its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Ian 'Skip' Taylor.
“We will all miss Skip dearly. His passion, dedication and love for motorsport, the Australian Grand Prix and Motorsport Australia were exemplary," Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said.
"I always enjoyed sharing a course car or a chat with Skip because he represented the very best of what it meant to be a Motorsport Australia official.”
Details on a funeral service will be announced shortly.