Monday, 6 December 2010

Shelley Wakeling



Shelley is a multiple British rallycross championship winner. Her father is Richard Wakeling, a car preparation expert and rallycross competitor. Her brother, Paul Wakeling, also competes in rallycross, usually in a different class. She began racing in Minicross in 2004, after some time in Autograss.

She was sixth overall in her first season, with a best finish of sixth at Mondello Park. In 2005, she was fifth in her second. During her third season, 2006, she was runner-up, after achieving her first win at Blyton, the last meeting of the year.

A new car for the 2007 season allowed her to raise her game, and she walked away with the championship after four wins. A trip across to the continent resulted in a fifth place at Maasmechelen, in Belgium.

She defended her crown in style in 2008, winning with one race to spare. Her “A” Final win tally was increased to five. As well as the UK Minicross championships, she has also competed in Europe again. Her team entered the non-championship event at Eurocircuit in the Netherlands, and was rewarded with another win from Shelley, plus a fourth place for Richard.

In 2009, she moved up to the Procar 2000 class in a Honda Civic, and was third overall, despite missing the first rounds, as her car was not ready. Her other results varied between second and fourth. 

Her second season in this championship gave her another title to add to her collection, the BTRDA Modified 2000 trophy. This time, she was competing against much more powerful cars in the same races, so only managed one win, but she was consistently the best in her class. This also gave her an overall win in the BTRDA Clubmans series. This is a first for a female driver.


In 2011, she stepped up again to the British Super National class, in the improved Honda. Competition was much more intense this time, and she did not manage any wins, but she was ninth overall in the championship, with a  best result of eighth. Competing in the BTRDA series in the top Supermodified category, she managed two third places in the two meeting she entered.


In 2012, she aimed to be more competitive in Super National, and her Honda was fitted with a supercharger to improve performances. She contested four of the six rounds, and her best overall finish was fifth, at Pembrey. This was good for eighth place on the final leaderboard. She would have completed the season, but a broken differential on the Civic prevented this. It followed a big roll at Lydden Hill, from second place, although the car was rebuilt after this.

Shelley was less in evidence on the British rallycross scene in 2013, entering only a few races. She did travel to the Netherlands in July, finishing second and fourth in two of her races. She also took part in some autograss events, in a Class 14 Buggy. However, most of her motoring activity was as a part of Terry Grant's stunt show, with which she toured around Europe. 

The Honda Civic was still in her possession, in the process of being overhauled for the 2014 season, but she does not appear to have competed at all in 2014. She was still involved in an administrative capacity, for the British Minicross Drivers' Association. 

She returned to the circuits in 2015, racing a Mini in five of the seven rounds of the BTRDA Rallycross championship. She won the Clubmans series Classic Mini championship.

In 2016, she appears to have done at least one BTRDA rallycross meeting, earning second and third places at Blyton, driving a Mini. She was fourth in the Minicross standings.

Shelley also appeared on an episode of Top Gear, in a segment about rallycross, racing against Richard Hammond in her old Mini. She was referred to as "Gary The Girl".

(Image from www.revivals59.com)

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