Following a tough rookie season where Shanel had to cope with both an uncompetitive car and the lack of race experience her family team had, her true potential shone through this weekend in the first round of the competitive 2017 Michelin Clio Championship at Silverstone.
At just sixteen years old, Shanel was not only the youngest on the grid and the only female in her class, but this was her first time ever at the Silverstone track. However, this season Shanel has the Milltek Sport and Sonic Equipment supported Jade Developments as her team, and their experienced support appears to have plugged the missing element Shanel needs.
They also just happen to be the 2016 reigning Road class Champions and Shanel describes their support as quite simply “incredible”. She says she has learnt more about developing her race craft and preparation for a race since starting out for the season, than in the whole of last year.
As she only first drove her new car 5 weeks before this weekend, and managed just two test sessions prior to the start of the season, her performance of securing an incredible second place in the first race, and third place in the second race is testament to this.
Shanel quickly got to grips with Silverstone for the first time, which was blessed with sunshine and blue sky where she managed to secure fourth place on the grid for the first race, and third place for the second race, which picks up an ability the team are finding in Shanel to be very consistent in her times, which will be a strong base on which to build her pace on.
In Race 1, Drewe took third place after the first corner, and concentrated on building a gap to fourth place driver Joannou, whilst maintaining pace with Harrison and Colburn which she did amicably. A challenge mid race from Joannou was quickly seen off by Drewe who stamped her authority on third position. In the closing stages of the race Shanel maintained a three second gap on 2nd place Harrison, and in a thrilling final lap managed to take opportunity of an unfortunate mishap for Harrison to take not only second place, but her maiden podium position.
The excitement and joy of both Shanel and her family was very evident in Parc Ferme, and the high of such a finish placed Shanel in a confident frame of mind for the second race, where she started third on the grid and confidently maintained this position from start to finish, where she saw her team mate Harrison take the race win.
Shanel is first to thank Jade Developments for the hard work and support they have shown her to develop her skill, but reports the Dansoft Aviation Services, Wrapped Up Cars.com, Gold Star On Board, City Electrical Factors, and Motul backed car is showing real pace, and she is determined to do her team and partners proud as the season commences.