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Brookes second at Fastest Car Shootout
Ever since she first drove a car as a teenager, Mandi Brookes has shown a propensity for speed.
"When my dad taught me to drive when I was younger, I had a lead foot," she explained.
"And I guess I just found a place now I could put it to use."
Brookes was competing in Medicine Hat, Alta. last month (Sept. 14/15) at the Southern Alberta Fastest Streetcar Shootout.
And the 35-year-old Brookes placed second out of the 41 drivers.
"That would have been nice (to win), but the cars we were up against, finishing where we finished was amazing," she said.
The Langley woman was racing in a 1981 Chevy Malibu, which is owned by her boyfriend Mike Hawkins and was built by Ken Sihota, of Ken's Speciality Automotive in Langley.
While her father, Dan Brookes, and some cousins are involved in the sport, Brookes is just in her second season.
"I was never allowed to be in one of the cars and then I started dating Mike," she explained. "He said one day you are going to race your dad, so you better learn how to drive."
"He stuck me in a car and I have been addicted ever since," she added.
"It is a fun, adrenaline sport."
Brookes races with the Canadian Pro Street Association out at the Mission Raceway.
The association is a heads-up drag racing circuit for the Pacific Northwest.
She is in the open competition, which is designed for all vehicles and trucks that run slower than 8.5 seconds in the quarter mile.
The format was different at the Streetcar Shootout.
Forty-one racers began and through a series of head-to-head races, drivers were eliminated.
Altogether, Brookes raced six times over the weekend, winning five and placing second overall with a running time of 8.83 seconds at 151.94 miles per hour.
Top spot went to Calgary's Scott Schulhuser with a time of 7.99 seconds at 178.78 mph.
"It felt pretty awesome," Brookes said about her second-place finish.
As the only female in the category, Brookes said she heard some snickering and trash talk from her fellow drivers.
"When you hear talk like that, it makes you want to do better, to show them up," she said.
"It doesn't matter what you are or who you are, anyone can do it."
Brookes was driving with a heavy heart, as about a week prior to racing in Medicine Hat, her grandmother Donna Lyons passed away after a very brief battle with cancer.
While her grandmother never got to see her race, Brookes said she was always very supportive and constantly asking for updates on her granddaughter was doing.
"I know she was there helping me get to the finals," Brookes said.