Introducing Shanel Drewe

Shanel Drewe (Photo by Purple M photography)

Shanel Drewe (Photo by Purple M photography)Shanel Drewe is a new driver to the Junior Saloon Car championship (JSCC) in 2016 joining Katie Milner and Emily Glanvill to make three female drivers on the grid.

She is just fifteen years old and although this is her first season as a driver, she has already been involved in motorsport. Over to Shanel to explain;

“In 2015 I volunteered my spare time with two separate motor racing teams, and spent many long weekends working with them doing anything from washing wheels through to helping with mechanical repairs.”

The team principal of one of the teams; Simon James of Team Pieman was impressed;

“Shanel’s competitive focus was clearly demonstrated in her support in 2015 which helped Team Pieman achieve an incredible 12 wins from 14 races in the 2015 Track Attack Tricolore Trophy Series”

But Shanel really wants to succeed on track as well; over to Shanel again to explain;

“I first drove on my eleventh birthday with a lesson from Young Driver, and was hooked from that moment, saving my pocket money to pay for a few lessons a year. But motorsport has always been my passion as I love the smell and intoxication of a race track, and share the passion and determination of the drivers and teams. I also have a passion for finding out how things work, and raise more than a few eye brows at the circuits by getting involved in the mechanical maintenance and repair of the cars. I believe that you should not settle for the norm, and unless you chase your ambition and dreams, they will never come true.”

And if anyone had any doubts as to how seriously Shanel takes her motorsport she has some strong words;

“If I may be blunt, this is not a hobby or interesting past-time, it is my commitment to forge a career in becoming a professional racing driver. I fully appreciate this will be a challenging task, but I am determined to succeed.”

Shanel Drewe CarShanel Drewe CarBut being fifteen, Shanel also still has to complete her full time education. She is currently taking her GCSE’s which she is due to sit in the coming year up to summer 2017. She takes the same attitude to education as she does with her racing and so unsurprisingly, she is predicted to take all A* and A grades.

“I have been bought up with the advice that it is effort that counts and so long as I try my best, I should be happy with the results, whatever they are. But am also a competitive individual. For example, I always set myself the personal task of beating the last test score at a subject at school, even if only by one mark. I simply see this as you would at beating your last lap time on a track.”

It’s clear that Shanel is a very determined and competitive individual both qualities you need in motorsport. She has been working extremely hard with her father to build an entry from scratch as it wasn’t until late November last year that they had even considered an entry, and have been flat out seeking support to help secure a season of racing as a private team.

She has had some support so far from sponsors including Chandler Motor Company, Dansoft Aviation Services, Wrapped up, Goldstar Onboard Cameras and Data, Witham Motorsport (Official UK Motul Importer) and NGK Sparkplugs. She still needs more funding to help her in her career but she has already tried to show her commitment and determination;

“This is a thrilling ride I am willing to take, after all if I do not follow my Dream it will never become reality.”

But she doesn’t only want to raise money for herself and is helping to also raise money for the championship’s nominated charity, The Teenage cancer trust.

“As well as setting myself a target of raising £1000 during the season for the TCT, I have offered my car to them to use at fund raising events, or if patients and families of TCT want to escape pressures of day-today life, they are more than welcome to come and become part of the team for a day at race events.”

This season is a learning year for Shanel, especially as she also has to concentrate on her exams but her competitive nature will mean that she’ll be aiming to move as close to the front as she possibly can. She outlines her aims;
“I plan to use this first year to not only develop and fine tune my race craft and car, but to also develop the off track contacts I have already made in 2015; So that by the end of the season I aim to be a highly competitive driver with a strong reputation in the motorsport arena.”

Shanel has already made her debut recently at Oulton Park. With a lot of drivers on the grid going into their second season, the front of the grid wasn’t a realistic target for Shanel at her first ever race meeting especially as she wasn’t able to get much testing before the weekend. The target was to get used to the car and to keep improving her lap times during the weekend getting as far up the field as possible. She achieved this with nineteenth and seventeenth place finishes in the two races out of 23 starters. Race two in particular was a highlight as she not only defended from her rivals behind but also successfully hunted down and passed cars ahead of her, eventually beating six rivals. From her first laps in the car to her final race of the weekend she improved her lap times by six and a half seconds.

Now feeling much more confident in the car, Shanel is looking forward to her next rounds at Pembrey circuit near Llanelli in Wales. With a weekend of racing behind her she will be hoping to move even higher up the field. With her determined attitude she looks set to succeed in her aims. If you’d like to support Shanel, you can contact her at her website;

Written by