Shanel Drewe Leads Croft

16 year old Shanel Drewe continued to make fantastic progress in her second Michelin Clio cup race, leading for most of the first race and securing two strong 2nd place finishes. This brings her tally up to three 2nd place finishes and a 3rd place finish so far this year.

Her team manager, Sean Cassidy, of Damar International and Milltek Sport backed Jade Developments described the first race as perhaps the most exciting he has seen, and this marks another step up for Shanel Drewe.

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Shanel leads her first race at Croft. Photo Credit – Phil Laughton Photography

Starting 3rd on the grid Drewe had a great start and pulled off a brave overtake on the much more experienced Colburn at the end of the fast pit straight by driving round the outside of him through the first corner to take second place. The top three cars of Harrison, Drewe and Colburn then lead the road class in bumper to bumper action.

Shanel had to show both great defending as Colburn tried multiple attempts to claim back second place, whilst she kept first place Harrison in check. On lap three Drewe finally managed to pull alongside Harrison coming out of the chicane and passed him going into Tower Bend.

For the first time in her racing career, Drewe then lead the race with Harrison pushing her all the way, and the Jade Development Team mates pulled away from Colburn to become the main contenders for the race win. Drewe showed phenomenal maturity by holding off Harrison, until the second but last corner on the last lap where Harrison managed to get by in one last attempt, and Shanel finished second.

This was a bitter sweet pill for Shanel, for being so close to a maiden win, but she is very reflective adding, “when racing against a fourth season Clio racer with the experience such as Harrison, I know it will not be easy, but that will make my first win all the better”.

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Shanel was involved in close race action with Nic Harrison. Photo Credit – Phil Laughton Photography

In the second race, again the drivers got off to a fantastic start, and it looked for a moment that the crowds were going to be subject to another thrilling spectacle, but this was sadly not the case as an out of place race class car split the first and second place drivers allowing the front runner Harrison to build a vital 3 second buffer in front. In third and keen to aim for another shot at winning, Drewe again showed fantastic ability by overtaking second placed Colburn going into the Hairpin at the end of the first lap. From there, Drewe’s developing pace become very evident as going into lap two Drewe and Colburn were split by only 0.1 seconds, by lap two this was a clear second, and she continued to be on average a second a lap quicker. This allowed Drewe to build a much needed buffer, but the 3-4 second gap front runner Harrison was able to build in the first lap was as equally important and although Drewe matched Harrisons times, getting to within 0.2 secs of the fast lap of the race, she could only remain a menacing sight in his mirrors, and finished a solid 2nd place.

The team visited Croft without any prior testing, and Shanel’s instructor was unable to make Friday testing, so this feat was achieved against the team’s expectations, and reinforces the base ability and belief Jade Developments and her personal sponsors of Dansoft Aviation Services, Wrapped Up, Witham Oils (sole importers of Motul), City Electrical Factors and Gold Star on Board have saw in her.

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Shanel is looking forward to the next round of the championship where she will be targeting her first victory. Photo Credit – Phil Laughton Photography

Shanel’s maiden win cannot be far away and it looks like she picked the perfect team to develop her ability as Jade Developments not only achieved a double 1-2 finish of the weekend, but their Ginetta GT5 driver Luke Pinder achieved a 6th and 7th place finish at Rockingham, and was actually leading the second race before he was struck from behind and had to retire from the race.

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