Welsh win at Anglesey for Shanel Drewe

Track Action A triple header of the Michelin Clio Championship took place this weekend at Anglesey Circuit, North Wales.

The teams were greeted with blue sky and sun for Friday and Saturday, although summer returned to normal on Sunday, with heavy rain and changing conditions.

Shanel Drewe arrived at the track fresh from the encouragement of achieving a fantastic set of qualifications in her GCSE results. She has also spent the summer following a punishing routine of fitness training and supporting diet so keen she is to maintain her momentum in the Championship.

She also had to manage the prospect of starting her new sixth form college and A’ level studies the day after the racing.

Drewe’s ongoing developing form continued in the first qualification session, with Drewe securing pole position for the first two races. Unfortunately, a technical gremlin in the second qualification session pushed Drewe to fourth place on the grid for the third race.

With the car sorted from the qualification period, and Race 1 up, the circuit formed the road class grid on a side by basis, which neutralised the advantage of pole position as the second place driver would have the advantageous race line through the first complex of corners so long as they stayed level with the pole position car, which was the case.

However, with the charging cars of Robinson and Thomas behind her, Drewe’s continuing maturity shone through as she expertly defended her second place through the opening half of the race whilst keeping the lead driver in check. In the second half Shanel managed to pull a gap from Thomas which allowed her to mount a challenge on the lead driver, but despite making ground, there were not enough laps left to get close enough for a real challenge, so Drewe secured a strong second place finish.

In the second race, Drewe faced the same challenge on the start, but this time learnt from the first start. Having no option but to settle for second into the first complex, Drewe stuck to the tail of the leader driver as they both raced away from the pack. Two laps into the race, Drewe pulled a brave move around the outside of Church corner, and took the lead.

Concentrating on building a clear gap, the deployment of the safety car meant this hard fought advantage was lost, but having learnt from her first ever safety car restart at Rockingham where she lost the lead, this time Drewe pulled away from the rest of the road class pack, and with fastest lap of the race under her belt, Drewe pulled an incredible lead to win by over 20 seconds as Joannou, Thomas, and Robinson were caught up fighting for Second

Podium The third race late on the Sunday started on a damp track, with drying patches, but menacing clouds in the sky. Starting fourth on the grid, upon exiting the first corner, Drewe was up to second, and on the tail of the lead driver, but with Thomas once again just a few inches away in third. The race was a real mix as some of the race class had risked slick tyres, so the road class had to contend not only with racing each other, but race class cars being mixed up in the leading pack. In a very exciting race Drewe and Thomas swapped positions several times in the opening laps, before a mistake by the lead driver going into the Cork Screw allowed Thomas to not only pass Drewe but pull alongside the lead driver before taking the lead. With different conditions on different parts of the track, Drewe stuck to the tail of the car in-front, but faced with stiff defending on a very slippery track, Drewe took Third.

This weekend’s results moves Shanel into the lead in the Michelin Clio Road Class, and she has a unique record of being the only Road class driver to finish on the podium in every race, which shows a fantastic consistency in her performance and lap times.

Next race is Brands Hatch on 23/24 September and which is building to an exciting climax of the season.

To keep Shanel’s feet firmly on the ground, a little over 12 hours after leaving the track, Shanel was on her way to her new College, with A’ level Maths on the timetable!

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