Mark Porter (racing driver)

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Mark Porter
Nationality New Zealand
Born (1974-10-02)2 October 1974
Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
Died 8 October 2006(2006-10-08) (aged 32)
Sydney, Australia
V8 Supercar Development Series
Years active 2002–06
Teams Independent Race Cars
MSport
Team Kiwi Racing
Starts 30
Best finish 3rd in 2003 & 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series

Mark "Didley" Porter (2 October 1974 – 8 October 2006) was a New Zealand racing driver who competed in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar touring car racing series in Australia.

His V8 Supercar series debut was in a Ford Falcon at Wakefield Park in 2002, and he debuted in the Bathurst 1000 the same year.

In the 2006 series, Porter was running third in the championship in his Holden VZ Commodore for the Hyundai-Hydraulink racing team. On 6 October 2006, while competing in a support race for the Bathurst 1000, he lost control of his car at Sulman Park at nearly 200 kilometres per hour (120 mph). He stalled in the middle of the track and was a sitting duck when the rest of the field came roaring through. Chris Alajajian, in the Elf Commodore, connected with the tail of Porter's car. David Clark, however, in an effort to avoid the stalled Porter, slid his car sideways whilst travelling at high speed. The front right hand side of his car hit the drivers side door of Porter's car, crushing the side of the car. The front right hand of Porter's car also hit the drivers door of Clark, critically injuring him. Marshals were quick to arrive at the scene where one, unable to open the driver's door on Porter's car, opened the rear door in an attempt to check his condition. Both drivers were unconscious at the time. The race was called to an immediate stop and all racing was suspended for two hours while police combed for clues as to what happened. Both cars were heavily damaged, while Alajajian was able to repair his car for the second race of the weekend the next day.

Porter was taken by ambulance to Bathurst Base Hospital and later that day airlifted to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney with serious head and chest injuries but died in late afternoon of Sunday 8 October 2006 as the feature race was concluding. Just two hours after the race, Porter's family issued a statement announcing his death.

He was survived by his wife Adrienne and his young son Flynn.

Tributes and Legacy[edit]

Porter was chosen to drive the Brad Jones Racing Ford Falcon at the Bathurst 1000 endurance round. But after the fatal crash, Michael Caruso stepped into the seat and the team ran the names of the two drivers and, Porter's with the number 111 aside his name.

After his death, good friend and team owner Paul Cruikshank ran Porter's number #111 at the next V8 Supercar round at Surfers Paradise. #111 was used as a memorial to Porter on the Paul Cruickshank Racing Falcon up until the team folded in 2009. The Mark Porter trophy is awarded to winners of the Hamilton 400 street race. Mark's brother Andrew, a former truck racer, contested the 2007/08 NZV8 series in the Hydraulink #111 Ford BF Falcon.

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