George Tatnell

First to win National Speedcar and Sprintcar championships


In 1962 the rough and tumble world of stockcar, at the Windsor track west of Sydney, was an unlikely starting place for one of the legends of Australian speedway.

Within a decade George John Tatnell had become a fast, fearless and flamboyant star in the halcyon days of Saturday night dirt track speedcar competition at the Sydney Showground.

The flamboyant Tatnell revelled in the self-styled nick-name of “Gorgeous George.”

Tatnell’s publicity seeking personna belied a ruthless racer whose daredevil tactics delivered three national speedcar titles in the 1970s.

Tatnell was a headline act winning 20 career feature races at the Sydney Showground and finishing a close second to the legendary A J Foyt at Liverpool Raceway in 1976.

And after switching up to the thundering V8 Sprintcars, Tatnell won that national title in 1988 to become the first driver to win both Australian Speedcar and Sprintcar championships.

As he nudged his 50th birthday Tatnell was still racing flat out, adding two World Series Sprintcars championships to his impressive CV.

Always an innovator, Tatnell brought a portfolio of new sponsors to speedway and his radical Wedge speedcar.

In retirement George nurtured the hugely successful sprintcar career of his son Brooke, before passing away in 2007 after a short illness.