Next weekend Shanel Drewe’s first season in the 2017 Michelin Clio Championship kicks off with the first round at Silverstone National circuit.
This year is all change for Shanel. Despite having no previous karting experience, and spending just one year as part of a novice father daughter team in the Junior Saloon Car Championship (JSCC) in 2016, this year Shanel was offered a place with Jade Developments who were the 2016 Michelin Clio Road Class Champions, and front runners in the Race class.
In the JSCC Shanel demonstrated an excellent racing awareness by making up positions in the close racing of a single make championship. A prime example of this amongst others is Donington Park where she managed to go from 23rd to 14th in the opening two laps of the race.
Shanel explains that the team struggled last year with experience of how to set the car up and even prepare for a race. However, the dedicated support for this year from Jade Developments is going to remove these distractions and allow Shanel to focus and build a routine to maximise her racing approach; but Shanel’s feet are firmly on the ground. She mentions that the goal of this year is for her to simply build her experience and approach so that she can become a regular front runner, and will then go from there.
The team have already completed a shake down test, and a couple of long track days, and Shanel describes she has perhaps driven more laps and received more driver development support in the short pre-season build-up than managed in the whole of last year. Shanel also reports that she feels tremendously empowered already in the ability Jade Developments have demonstrated in setting her car up, and the self-confidence her instructor Peter Felix has given her, and she feels such a high going into the 2017 season.
In return, both Jade Developments and Peter Felix are reporting that Shanel has quickly settled into her new Clio Sport 197 car, and has been showing positive pace and consistency, which reaffirms their decision last year to offer Shanel a place on the team.
Shanel’s entry this season is with the kind on-going support of Dansoft Aviation Services, Wrapped Up Cars.com, Goldstar OnBoard for Cameras and Data, City Electrical Factors and the Witham Group who are sole UK importers of Motul Oil, but like others, they still need to increase support to secure a full season.
This experienced support and knowledge will provide Shanel the platform she deserves to concentrate fully on developing her racing experience in a competitively prepared car, and 2017 looks to be an exciting year for Shanel to really forge and confirm her reputation.