This Saturday night however, Brooke Tatnell has two reasons specifically for wanting the feature win for Round Two of the 30th anniversary World Series Sprintcars.
Well, two reasons that are two birthdays really.
Brooke’s nine year old daughter Emma (or “Bug” as he affectionately calls her) turns ten on the Saturday itself, then the day after (Sunday) it would have been Krikke Motorsport principal Shane Krikke’s 47th birthday.
“This is the third year in a row I’ll miss Emma’s birthday,” Tatnell explains, “and when you’re a little kid or a Dad or a Mum that’s a big deal. I always tell her I’ll buy her a Barbie Doll when I win, so I’m really hoping I can get her one for her birthday Saturday night. I love what I do but I really miss my family when I’m away.”
The nine-times WSS champ’s wife Amy, daughter Emma and son Garrett are back home in Minnesota USA while Brooke prepares for what may well be his first ever WSS win with Krikke Motorsport at his home track Parramatta.
The Saturday and Sunday are two massively significant dates for Brooke himself and for the KMS team as Sunday is the first birthday since Shane Krikke passed away from cancer in June of this year.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve never won here (Valvoline Raceway) for Krikke Motorsport,” Tatnell laments, “but I can’t imagine a more appropriate time to change all that. It’s going to be an extremely emotional weekend for everyone involved with the KMS team. I really hope we can blow the candles out for Shane the night before. He deserved this more than anyone.”
With the disappointment of last Saturday night’s rainout of the opening round at Murray Machining & Sheds Speedway Tatnell is even more fired up than ever to get his 10th WSS Championship.
“I’ve never needed any more motivation than just winning itself,” Brooke explains, “but I find myself trying harder than ever to downplay how much a win at this place this weekend would mean. There are two incredible reasons celebrating two amazing people that I hope I can get the job done for.”
Shane Krikke was a hugely respected and revered figure in Australian Sprintcar Racing and throughout the USA and NZ for his global racing footprint established with “KMS”.
His funeral service in Western Australia in June was attended by some 2000 people and hundreds more watched online as the service was broadcast on the Internet.
A former Sprintcar racer who turned his focus to ‘team principal’ when he was first diagnosed with cancer in 1998 the larger than life Toyota dealer had a reputation for his passion for racing, his family and his friends.
Krikke often regarded friends as ‘brothers’.
He built Krikke Motorsport up into a National Championship and World Series Sprintcars winning operation capable of beating any team in any field.
Appropriately last weekend’s WSS kick off at Murray Bridge was attended by his wife Jodie and daughter Taylor, his Mum and Dad Peter and Julie and his brother Ryan.
This Saturday night Jodie and Ryan will be in attendance with KMS for the team’s first trip to Sydney without “SK”.
Defending WSS champion Jamie Veal, two-time WSS champion James McFadden, former WSS champion Robbie Farr and multiple WSS Champion Max Dumesny will all compete this Saturday night and take part in a special national anthem parade lap to start the show.
Currently at the time of writing some 54 entries have been received for Saturday night’s battle including drivers from West Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania.
It’s an historical moment for the sport with drivers and teams representing every state and territory represented.
Valvoline Raceway is located at 21 Wentworth Street in Clyde
Gates open at 2pm.
Action on track with hot laps from 5.15pm
Visit www.speedwaytickets.com.au to purchase your tickets in advance for get them at the gate:
Adults: $30 Pension: $20 Juniors: (13-15yrs) $15 Children (12 and under) FREE Family Pass: (2 adults and 2 juniors) $70
Street Stocks and Lightning Sprints are also on the program.
Visit www.valvolineraceway.com.au or check Facebook for Valvoline Raceway.