The motor racing world has been rocked by the sudden death of former Canberra V8 Supercar driver Dale Brede on 11 July, aged 48.
In recent years Dale lived on the Gold Coast and worked as a stunt driver at Movie World after selling his business, the Canberra Motorcycle Centre in Fyshwick.
The business was effectively an extension of his love of cars and bikes. This is not surprising given his father, Campbell, built National Capital Motors into one of Canberra’s pre-eminent car dealerships.
I remember interviewing Dale on ABC Radio Grandstand. He spoke about his racing, beginning with karts. He progressed to Formula Fords then Supercars in 2001.
He had 35 starts in the V8 Supercars, including six starts in the Bathurst 1000.
Dale also managed Suzuki’s Factory Australian Super Bike programme.
His success in motorsport and business and his quick smile drew people into his world. And with these ingredients, he managed to influence the next generation of potential Canberra motorsport enthusiasts.
Amongst these is Canberra’s V8 Supercar driver Cameron Hill, who regards Dale as a mentor.
And Dale’s positive influence is evident from his impact on others involved in the sport.
Warren Luff, his former Supercar rival and fellow stunt driver at Movie World, says in his tribute to Dale: “This week my world lost some of its light and laughter with the loss of my good mate Dale Brede.
“Breedy and I started out as competitors 20 years ago, but soon became great mates. For the last nearly two years we worked together at Movie World as part of the stunt team. It still doesn’t seem real that he’s gone, but his memory and impact on so many will never be forgotten.”
His one-time Bathurst co-driver, Will Davison, posted an emotional tribute saying he was still shocked and heartbroken by the loss of one of his best mates.
“I’ve been struggling with the reality of this post for days and haven’t quite processed the incredibly sad loss of one of my best mates Dale Brede,” he wrote.
“I feel honoured and truly lucky to have had you as part of my life for over 20 years, brother. You’ve enriched mine and so many other’s lives… Kind, gentle, intelligent, witty, hilarious and always the life of the party.
“Always smiling in the eyes of so many! Talented on four wheels and also two. Supercar driver, Superbike team owner and competitor, people person and businessman.”
The tributes have poured in as his death has impacted many who have been influenced by him and all that he has achieved.