Being the new kid in class tends to stifle your true nature, you wanna make a good impression, so you hold back. Last year Shea Holbrook's was a rookie making her pro racing debut in the World Challenge Touring Car Series, but according Shea, this year she's not holding anything back. So, when the 2011 season begins at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25-27th, sitting behind the wheel of her number 67 Honda Civic Si, you'll find a more aggressive person, both on and off the track.
After wrecking her car in the last race at VIR last year, Shea has her ride is back in great shape for this year.
Shea Holbrook isn't holding back in 2011, after making her pro racing debut last year, Shea says this year she's coming hard.
"We took a lot away from the 2010 season. There were many things we were proud that we did, and some things we would have changed, it's a learning process," said the Groveland, Florida, resident. "I think you will see a more competitive person this year. Last year, I put my out-spokeness in the background, which wasn't easy because I am an out-spoken person"
"Because it was our first year, we wanted to perform to the best of our abilities, and respect the veterans of the sport. You could say, we were playing the nice card off track. I know I proved myself on track, especially at the Streets of Toronto, when I took Robb Holland for P5. At the time, I really only knew the Holland name, and that I wanted to get him. After that race Holland came over to congratulate the team. Last year we were there to participate because we knew our car wasn't perfected to its prime. The 2011 season we're coming hard. This year I'm determined to be on podium."
Team owner, Jeff Holbrook concurs, "We're entering the 2011 season with winning attitudes. Shea has put a tremendous amount of effort into her racing career and K&N and Lucas Oil are our driving force. We have partnered with K&N and Lucas Oil for the 2011 season. K&N is a leading and innovative filter technology company for automotive applications. K&N has hit the motorsports market worldwide. To be an image for K&N is unbelievable, and I'm extremely thankful to be a part of it."
The 2010 season with World Challenge Touring Car did end on a positive note for Shea Racing. "With plenty of hard work we were able to capture sixth-place in the championship," commented Shea.
Shea explains that last season was truly an eye opener for her, in discovering just what the professional racing world is really all about.
"I was determined to have a fantastic rookie season on and off track. Every race we attended we finished in the top-ten and our best finish was a fifth-place. World Challenge presents the absolute best sports car fans. I was amazed by how much we were able to interact with fans. It's a blessing to be a part of a well-known, very competitive race series, and after last year I think we learned our spot."
Shea is a junior majoring in communications at UCF, and besides studying during the off season, Shea says she was able to lay down some rubber driving other cars around the Florida area.
"Unfortunately, in the last weekend we attended at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) in 2010, we got wrecked out on the start of the last race. This caused a lot of car damage, and all we could see were dollar signs. Last year we barely had any funding, and every minor, or major damage to the car had a price tag for us to pay. Therefore, our plans of testing the car during the off season really went out the window. Although, I'm happy to say with that with some funding backing us for the 2011 season, our Honda Civic Si is in great shape, and we'll be testing twice before the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg."
Shea says she has put a lot of expectations on herself for the 2011 season. "I'd like to win the hard charger and best move of the race awards once, along with being on podium, and winning a few races. I strongly believe I have it in me to be one of the best, and I know the team wants it badly enough to do everything possible to get us there. Lucas Oil is sponsoring the Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16-17th. It's exciting to have partnered with such strong forces in the motorsports industry." K&N and Shea Racing have been partnered for three years now."
Shea will also continue to use her racing skills to help fund several causes near to her heart, foremost being the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which has affected her own family. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in every 3,500 live male births (about 20,000 new cases each year). "Racing for a Cure to END Duchenne" is name of Shea's charity.
"Duchenne is a cruel disease and it affects my family. I have two cousins with Duchenne, Matthew (1989-2008) and Jordan. Matthew and I were the same age, his passing made me realize I had to do something to better Jordan's life before its too late. From there Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and I began working together to educate, and raise awareness and funds to find a cure. Utilizing my professional racing career to help benefit Duchenne was a no-brainer. What young man doesn't like race cars!"
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