Shanel Drewe tests as TCR UK makes its debut at Brands Hatch

Shanel enjoyed her time in the TCR Alfa Romeo (Photo by Marc Waller)

Shanel enjoyed her time in the TCR Alfa Romeo (Photo by Marc Waller)The first ever organised test session for the new UK TCR series took place at Brands Hatch in Kent last week with Clio Road Sport runner up Shanel Drewe being the only female driver present testing a car.

The day itself was a “taster day” for the championship with representatives from some of the manufacturers who produce the cars as well as a few of the teams that are intending on racing in the championship. (Brisky Racing, Motorbase, Pyro Motorsport, SWR and Carl Swift)

There were some big-name drivers present in amongst the 34 in total that tested; 2017 BTCC Champion Ash Sutton had a go in a car and the 2017 Clio Cup champion Mike Bushell spent quite a while lapping in the Pyro Motorsport Honda Civic. Former BTCC and WTCC driver Tom Boardman had a drive in the Romeo Ferraris Guilietta.

The tests for the seven different manufacturer cars were about 30 minutes and the time would be split into two with a pit visit between runs. Each manufacturer had one of their drivers on hand for tuition and advice on driving the cars;

the newlycrowned TCR International Series champion Jean-Karl Vernay for the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Former WTCC and BTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini for the Hyundai i30 N, Jordi Gené for the SEAT León, Frédéric Vervisch for the Audi RS3 LMS, Thomas Jäger for the Opel Astra, Josh Files for the Honda Civic Type-R and Mario Ferraris alongside Michela Cerruti for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Peugeot sport had been unable to complete their car in time but had representatives for the drivers to speak to.

As well as their current TCR Civic, Honda also had their all new car based on the latest Honda Civic on display in one of the Brands Hatch garages.

Tom Boardman was among the well known drivers to have a first go in the TCR cars (Photo by Marc Waller) Gabriele Tarquni was on hand to advise drivers on the Hyundai (Photo by Marc Waller)




Shanel Drewe drove the same Guilietta as Tom Boardman and was in the car straight after him so she used to the opportunity to get some tips from the former WTCC driver before heading onto track herself. Unlike some of the drivers present, Drewe’s 2018 plans aren’t for the TCR championship but she sees it as a realistic target for a couple of season’s time. Although she wasn’t pushing for quick lap times, Drewe was pleased to get a taste of what she hopes to be racing in the near future. TCR could be a good move for the Bristol based driver with the WTCC rumoured to be changing to the specification soon. It was clear that Drewe enjoyed her time in the car;

“We were flying! I Loved having a go in the TCR UK Romeo Ferraris car. Big thanks to the team and Michela Cerruti, a very inspiring woman who helped develop the Alfa. Grazie squadra Romeo Ferrari!”

Drewe has been impressive this year, her first full season in racing. She very nearly won the roadsport clio title with no pre-season testing and with minimal time in the car up against some very experienced rivals. Drewe was only sixteen at the start of the season, just turning 17 a few days before the Brands Hatch test. She actually only passed her road driving test a couple of days after the TCR test and just six days after her seventeenth birthday. Drewe, it seems likes to do things quickly and so we could be seeing her in a touring car championship very soon, assuming the talented young driver can find the backing to support her racing career.

The Uk Series promoter Jonathan Ashman found the first Uk TCR test day a success; “We were very pleased to see so many people attending, which shows how much interest there is around TCR in general and TCR UK.

This makes us confident that the series is facing a successful maiden season in 2018.”

The TCR UK series will be officially launched on March 6th, 2018 at Silverstone. The first race weekend of the season will also be at Silverstone over the weekend of the 31st March / 1st April.
The rest of the 2018 season calendar then continues as follows;

May 12-13 Knockhill
June 2-3 Brands Hatch
July 14-15 Castle Combe
August 4 Oulton Park
September 8-9 Croft
October 13-14 Donington Park By Marc Waller

Clio champion Mike Bushell was among drivers testing the Pyro Civic (Photo by Marc Waller) The New Hyundai i30 TCR (Photo by Marc Waller) Brisky racing had one of their Golfs there (Photo by Marc Waller) The all new Honda Civic (Photo by Marc Waller) Shanel Drewe with the Alfa Romeo (Photo by Marc Waller) The Astra TCR (Photo by Marc Waller) The Seat and the Audi (Photo by Marc Waller) 

Written by