NINE years ago when Mark Skaife celebrated the sixth Bathurst 1000 win of his career he shared the top tier of the podium with Craig Lowndes and come next month at Mount Panorama, he expects to see the man affectionately known as CL there once more.
Skaife believes that the Red Bull Racing entry that Lowndes will co-drive for Jamie Whincup is the favourite for this year's Great Race.
The duo won three 1000s together between 2006-08 before a rule prohibiting full-time drivers from pairing up for the endurance rounds was introduced.
But as Lowndes retired from a full-time drive at the end of last season, he can now share a seat with Whincup once more.
"I think the favourite would have to be Whincup and Lowndes," Skaife told supercars.com
"But I'm saying that narrowly, given the level of competition and all the things that Bathurst throws up. It's very open.
"Although the Red Bull Holden Racing Team have got the strongest driver combinations, there's another eight or 10 cars that are going to be hard to beat."