Shanel Drewe looks for more JSCC progress at Snetterton

Shanel Drewe (Photo by Marc Waller)

Shanel Drewe (Photo by Marc Waller)Shanel Drewe continued her debut car racing season last weekend with a visit to the Norfolk circuit of Snetterton for the Junior Saloon car championship.

She’d had several mechanical issues at the previous Pembrey rounds and so the car was closely inspected in the gap between the race weekends. It was found a broken Gearbox mount was causing excessive movement and the rear exhaust section was fixed a little too firmly to the car which meant it was breaking off easily when things moved. With help from Chandler Motor Company in Bristol a new mount and a flexi connection to the exhaust was fitted, hopefully to fix Shanel’s mechanical issues.

But in testing at Snetterton further issues were found as an offside rear suspension pin was bent, which probably happened during the Pembrey weekend. This was causing the car to crab slightly, slowing Shanel’s lap times.

Shanel then had a very positive test day and she was looking forward to the race meeting on Saturday.

She’s still one of the least experienced on the grid and so she can make big leaps forward as she learns the best way of doing things. Unfortunately this can also lead to mistakes and a minor mistake on what would have been her quickest qualifying lap sent her into a spin. Despite this she qualified twentieth for race one and eighteenth for the second race.

The weather was now very hot as race one got underway. Shanel made a good start and was fighting for fifteenth place against far more experienced drivers but she found her limited experience in racing at close quarters meant that she was losing out when drivers drew alongside her into corners, causing her to lose positions and once you lose one, your momentum is lost giving the next rival behind the advantage. This left her back down in twentieth at the flag. But Shanel isn’t someone to let things not going her way get her down, and she was one of only a few drivers during the race to beat her earlier qualifying time, despite the hot weather. After some discussions in her de-brief she looked to take a more defensive approach in race two to keep the rivals behind her.

Shanel Drewe (Photo by Marc Waller)For race two she was a couple of places higher up which would hopefully help her progress still higher. She got another great start and again got up to fifteenth place. This time she was finding it much easier to hold them behind her and could start to think about progessing further up the field. Things were looking good before one of the drivers behind nudged her into a bend, causing her to go wide. The resulting loss of straightline speed saw her slip back down the order to twentieth and she’d have to do it all over again. Sadly there wasn’t time left in the race and she crossed the line in nineteenth. It was disappointing but she had shown her pace and it’s all part of the learning experience.

This was Shanel’s third circuit racing event ever and with most of her rivals having many years’ experience of racing in karts or other forms of racing, she’s really holding her own against a tough field. The fact that she has finished all six of her races so far shows that she already has a good feel for things and with big steps forward made at each event, she hopes it won’t be long before she can race with the pack at the front of the field to go for podiums and eventually wins.

Her small team have more work to do before the next rounds at Rockingham on the 28th and 29th May. By Marc  Waller

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