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3 March 1971 |
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|Occupation||American sports commentator|
Leigh Diffey (born on 3 March 1971 in Brisbane) is an Australian American auto racing commentator with the NBC Sports Network in the United States. He has also worked in Britain and in his homeland of Australia, where he commentated on Champ Car and V8 Supercars for Network Ten in Australia. Nicknamed, "Stiffey" by fans and fellow commentators.
Prior to his commentary and TV career, Leigh was a primary school teacher at Ipswich Grammar School, leaving in 1995/6 to pursue his love of Motorsports and Television.
Prior to his 2002 move to the United States, Diffey commented on the Superbike World Championship and presented coverage of the World Rally Championship for the BBC in the United Kingdom. He worked alongside Steve Parrish who along with Diffey, shared a mutual friend - the late Barry Sheene. Sheene was instrumental in joining Diffey and the BBC together.
In 2003, Diffey was hired by Speed. At Speed, Diffey was the play-by-play announcer for the network's coverage of the Speed World Challenge, the American Le Mans Series, the Rolex Sports Car Series, the Rolex Grand-Am Cup, the SCCA Trans-Am Series, and an occasional The Speed Report anchor and Formula One host. He also did occasional lap-by-lap coverage of the NASCAR Busch North Series.
In 2008, Diffey filled in for Speed commentator Bob Varsha during the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix. Varsha was unable to assume his usual role due to his covering the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Las Vegas, NV. Diffey also did 2 Formula One races on FOX in 2010.
Diffey also filled in for Ralph Sheheen for the 2008 AMA Motocross Championship.
Diffey, Bob Varsha and Krista Voda are now the mainstays of The Speed Report - the network's popular Sunday evening wrap of the week's news and results. Leigh has also commentated selected rounds of the AMA Superbike and AMA Motocross Championships.
Network Ten career
At the end of 2004, Diffey left the network for family reasons. He returned to his native Australia where he covered V8 Supercars and Formula One for Network Ten. He did, though, return to Speed on occasion to call the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans. Diffey was a regular host for Network Ten's nightly sports wrap, Sports Tonight, and also did commentary on such events as the Australian Supercross Masters series. His last Sports Tonight broadcast was Sunday 3rd, December 2006. He announced that he was returning to the United States where he rejoined Speed starting with the 2007 Rolex 24 Hour race at Daytona.
In November 2012, NBC Sports announced that Diffey would join its network to become the play-by-play announcer for its broadcasts of both Formula One and IndyCar events from 2013. The announcement named David Hobbs and Steve Matchett as the analysts who would work alongside him. He will also work on NBC's Olympic Coverage as well, covering luge, skeleton, and bobsled.
Leigh obtained his United States citizenship on 23 June 2011.
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- Waddell, B. (1998). "Bikes or Boats--What's the Diff?" Sunday Mail (Queensland). 1 March.