Shanel Secures Second Place in the Michelin Renault Clio Road Class Championship

Flat out in qualifying (Photo by Marc Waller)The final round of the Michelin Clio Championship took place at the world-famous Silverstone Circuit last weekend. Using the Formula One pitlane and paddock, Shanel found herself in contention for the Championship title.

This season had started with one target, and that was to develop Shanel’s previous limited racing experience to become a front running driver before the season end, however a core talent noticed by Jade Developments when Shanel undertook part of the 2016 Junior Saloon Car Championship season shone through, and she quickly surpassed this goal, to suddenly find herself in a Championship position.

 Unlike her competitor and team mate, who had been racing in this series for four years, and in MX5 racing before that, this was another first to contend with for Shanel.

In qualification Shanel was the fastest on the track, but what would have been the pole time for both races was disallowed as she put two wheels (only by a few inches!) onto green concrete when exiting the second but last corner, so she had to settle for third place on the grid. But this gave her the confidence that she was the fastest on the grid.

Race one and from third Shanel was soon in second place and applying pressure on the front running driver and with just a few laps to go she took first, and won at Silverstone, accepting her trophy on the same podium step that the likes of Lewis Hamilton has accepted his when winning the F1 race at Silverstone. With the Championship rival finishing fourth, this threw open the Championship and all to play for in the last race.

Second race up and it was a good indicator of just how much Shanel has progressed this year. Shanel stuck to the tail of her title competitor for the entire race, and he could not shake her off.

She tried many overtake attempts which showed just how much she has developed this year, but a very robust attitude to defending meant she just couldn’t quite make it, and finished fourth.

This secured Shanel second in the Championship and in a strange way, it was her performance record of finishing every race, with a lowest place finish of fourth that placed her at a disadvantage. Shanel had to drop a round in the final count, but as her title competitor could drop a 0’ point race where he failed to finish, this placed Shanel at a points disadvantage.

But Shanel is not downbeat. She explains “We never planned or thought about the Championship, as this year was only ever about developing my race craft. I only ever concentrated on becoming a leading driver, and suddenly found myself in a Championship position. But the way I looked at it was that I have achieved everything I set out to do, so it was simply the icing on the cake, so I just had fun this weekend and finished the season on a high with my best driving ever, and was as happy with second as I would have been with first.”

It is often easy to forget that this is Shanel’s first full season, and she has no previous karting experience, and she push a far more experienced driver to the limit in his quest to win the Championship after four years of finishing second himself.

Leading race one (Photo by Marc Waller) Race two was a tough fight against her championship rival (Photo by Marc Waller) It was close at the end (Photo by Marc Waller) Celebrations for the race one win (Photo by Marc Waller) Shanel plus her family and team celebrate the end of the season (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

Shanel would like to thank all of the team partners for their support this season, which included Dansoft Aviation Services, WrappedupCars.com, Witham Motorsport, Motul Oil, GoldStar-On-Board, Damar International and Sonic Tools without whom the season would not be possible.

Shanel is now looking at working up further support to allow her to move onwards and upwards for 2018, as is determined to continue her development in a full race class.

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