Tatnell tells of loss of mentor, best mate

Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

Two years ago Brooke Tatnell stood on the wing of his Krikke Motorsports sprintcar, celebrating an emotional Krikke Boys Shootout victory alongside team manager Shane Krikke.

This weekend, he will sit behind the wheel, determined to win his second title in honour of the man he calls “brother”.

The 20th Shootout is expected to be the most emotional yet because of the death of Shane last year and few will be riding the emotions as much as Tatnell.

Tatnell told the South Western Times that this weekend’s race was one of the biggest of his career.

“Shane wasn’t just my boss,” he said.

“He was a team mentor. Shane did not use the word brother lightly.

“When he called you brother, you knew he meant it.

“He was a best mate of mine.

“His passing gutted me and floored us.”

Tatnell said he always loved racing in the Shootout.

“This is what I do for a living and to put food on the table,” he said.

“The Boys’ Race has always been a sentimental race to the speedway community.

“It is not just a race meeting, it is a spectacle and a prestigious event.

“This year, with honouring Shane, it takes it to a new level for me.

“This is not just a race remembering three guys, it is a celebration of the lives of two guys who lost theirs and for me, of a brother who lost his life after giving so much to the sport and so much to myself.”

Tatnell admits early in the year he was not sure if he would race in the Shootout.

“Just because I wasn’t sure how emotionally tough it was going to be,” he said.

“But right now we are here to win it.”

Tatnell said the Shootout was one of those races which sometimes the best driver did not win.

“If you don’t get goosebumps racing in one of these, then it is time to quit,” he said.

“This race is one which adds an extra adrenaline rush.”

A determined Tatnell said with no points on the line, just pride and glory, this weekend was “no holds barred”.

“This is what sprintcar racing is truly about,” he said.

Tatnell said he looked forward to taking on the likes of James McFadden and Jamie Veal at the QUIT Bunbury Speedway.

“This race is never easy,” he said.

“What is fortunate for us, especially with James and Jamie, is we race against each other every night.

“A lot of times if you do not run against the best in the business you lose that edge or drive.

“We look forward to it.”

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