Shanel Drewe is, at the age of 21, the youngest and only female racing driver in the UK to participate in the British Mini Trophy last year. Not only does she have to prove herself in a predominantly male sport, but she is also studying as a race instructor. She’s also the proud ambassador for the Community Driving School. Motul’s UK distributor Witham Motorsports partnered with Shanel’s racing team a few years ago and supports her with Motul’s premium lubricants during her quest for racing victories.
A childhood dream coming true
Shanel has been racing and involved in cars since she was just 14 years old. Very few racing licences were held by women at that time. In her quest to become a professional racing driver, Shanel has built an impressive record including becoming vice champion in the Adult Michelin Clio Road Class Championship at just 16. On top of that, she was the youngest female to obtain her ARDS professional racing instructors’ licence and is now a regular instructor at Thruxton racetrack and a performance instructor for Mercedes-Benz AMG. As only one of a handful (and the only female in the UK) AMG Academy drivers, she's trained to teach new owners how to drive and handle their performance car. To obtain these extraordinary results, Shanel had to sacrifice a lot of free time, which most people at that age would probably have spent differently.
Training to be the best, every day of the week
Shanel is working out at least six times a week to stay in shape and to become the best version of herself. But racing is one of the only sports where physical strength is of less importance to be the best in her field. Shanel said: “It’s difficult when you have so few female pilots working in the racing Industry. But I hope to be that person one day, to show other women you can work your way up there with the right mindset. A lot of racers are attempting motorsport, but it doesn’t always succeed. But if you keep your focus on that path, anything can happen. I feel that this is my time and I want to make it happen, and I’ll do anything I can, to make it happen.”
An inspirational ambassador for the Community Driving School
Shanel is the official brand ambassador for the Community Driving School, which is UK’s and, perhaps the worlds, only not-for-profit driving school. She stated earlier on in the project: “A staggering number of jobs require driving licences despite not having any form of driving in the job description. If you are unable to afford driving lessons or have difficulties in dealing with the enclosed environment public transport and cars have, then you are at an immediate disadvantage in life. Plus, standard driving schools only ever concentrate on teaching you to drive, not developing the person behind the wheel. The Community Driving School was founded by John Nicolson, who is a suicide survivor, and offers marginalised people, including victims of abuse, exploitation, trafficking, poverty, low waged, or those suffering from poor mental health, free driving lessons, confidence building and career support. In return students volunteer for a community in their local community. The stories of how this helps students turn around their life is truly humbling. I have experienced a lot of sexism and discrimination for being a young female in a male dominated industry, so feel a real synergy with their mission. I support the Community Driving School to raise awareness, networking, help motivating their students and speaking at key events. This year I will be using the race car to raise awareness of their mission and inviting students to the races with us, not as spectators but members of the team to help with their confidence building and work experience.”
A proud partnership with Motul
Motul’s UK distributor, Witham Motorsport has been supporting Shanel for a number of years now as her lubricant partner, recommending Motul’s high performance oils and fluids for her racing cars, ensuring the best quality lubrication.