Shanel Drewe’s JSCC Croft weekend gets a boost from Jade Developments

Track action (Photo by Phil Laughton Photography)

Track action (Photo by Phil Laughton Photography)Due to school commitments and distance, Shanel could only get to the circuit for the Friday afternoon practice sessions.

Also, due to limited resources, Shanel had the daunting task of learning the track for the first time without the luxury of an instructor.

But on the positive side of things, Shanel had received an invite from Jade Racing Developments to join up with their Clio team set-up and so Shanel had a bit of extra support to discuss set-ups and her approach to the weekend.

So the first Friday practice session was used to learn the track, but also with the support and watchful eye of Jade Racing Developments she could also play around with the set-up of the car for the first time this year. Shanel could try out different car characteristics. This was potentially a big step forward as it could really boost her times. It was a real learning curve too, as for the first time she could compare her times against different set-ups.

This is where Shanel’s determination has really shown so far this season, because as other drivers have managed to mature and develop with the support of a professional team, Shanel has had to simply dig deeper and harder on her own to keep up her development pace until now. Unfortunately in the second practice session, the fuel flow problems she had experienced at the previous Brands Hatch rounds started to happen again, and this was compromised Shanel’s exit pace out of some bends.

On Saturday in qualifying, Shanel was much faster, but sadly limited track time compared with the others, and the performance issues of Friday meant the improvement was not quite enough to make a real impact.

Undeterred, Shanel spent the remainder of Saturday concentrating on race performance. She also had a track walk with Jack Fabby who is in contention for the Clio Championship Production Class Championship with Jade. This really helped Shanel gain a different perspective of the track. Both Shanel and her father found the support and encouragement a professional racing team like Jade can provide a big boost during the weekend and it kept Shanel on a high.

Track action (Photo by Phil Laughton Photography)Race day dawned and Shanel received further induction and support from Jade. After a last minute discussion on set-up Shanel went out with an untested setup to see what would happen. One of her strong points this year, has been the way she always manages to step up a gear on race day. She says this is to do with her competitive personality; She wants to excel and beat whoever is in front of her.

In both races Shanel certainly did just that, moving forward in the pack after some excellent starts, and an ability to find opportunity in the early close racing, Shanel constantly beat her qualification times by 3-4 seconds a lap in race mode. She was showing equivalent lap times to those much further up in the pack. After finishing nineteenth from twenty third in the first race, Shanel was extra determined in the second race, she fought up to sixteenth gaining an incredible seven place movement from twenty third on the grid. By the closing stages she was catching the car in fifteenth But disaster struck and hot brakes took their toll, locking up in a corner sent Shanel into the gravel from where there was no escape.

Shanel said the biggest learning point from the weekend was frm being part of the Jade team for the first time. Their support and presence on the pit wall made her feel she had a potent weapon behind her, and she felt she wanted to pay them back in the races. Shanel would like to thank Jade Racing developments very much for all their help and support during the weekend.

The manner in which Shanel stepped up in race mode this weekend is typical of her character, and despite being the only driver on the grid without any previous race experience, this was Shanel’s only non finish of the season so far. She has a respectable place in the Championship table, and perhaps one of the strongest records in the JSCC Championship for making up positions at the start of races.

Her father said, “Watching Shanel respond and react to the support of Jade Racing Developments made me think where she might have been at this race had this been a constant throughout the season, but this has made us even more determined for the future”.

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