Sunday, February 27, 2011
By Sara Newton
Shea Holbrook is a smart, bubbly girl you may have seen roaming campus through out the semester. Although she may come off as a typical UCF student, Shea is actually a successful race car driver. For Shea, racing isn't just an adrenaline rush, she races for a purpose. She is easily somebody each and every one of us can look up to for her dedication and passion. Her enthusiasm for racing and giving back is something that is truly incredible.
Girls, if you see this speed demon around campus don't be shy! Ask her any questions you may have, she would love to meet you and share her great story! Until that time comes, take a look at this young idol's extraordinary life.
Q: What made you get into race car driving?
A: I have always had a need for speed and somewhere in my life the opportunity of racing presented itself. My passion for driving started when I was 16 with a Richard Petty experience during the same weekend my father was getting his race license. I quickly began excelling in the motorsports world through high performance driving events all throughout Florida. I then went on to obtain my SCCA license and since then have been road racing competitively all over the nation with many organizations, from sprint races to 25 hour enduros. The 2010 season was my first year professional racing with the World Challenge Touring Car Series (sports car road racing) and I’m pleased to say with much team effort we finished 6th in the championship. This 2011 season we'll be back on track with World Challenge. The first race will be the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg alongside the IZOD Indy Car Series, March 26-27th.
Q: Do you feel like female race car drivers are equal to males?
A: I kind of laugh every time I get this question because the car and track don’t know whether you're female or male under your helmet! I think a female driver can be just as competitive as a male and vice versa. The motorsports industry is full of opportunities for all but they're earned, not given out.
Q: What does it feel to be racing?
A: Amazing. I never would have thought my life would be like the way it is now. The hobby of racing cars turned into a passion, then quickly a career. Right now I'm just stepping on the race track, but years from now I hope to leave a footprint in the industry. What can I say; I'm living the dream and hope to make a successful career and business out of it.
Q: What caused you to start racing for a cause?
A: We "Race for a Cure, to END Duchenne." I know a family with two sons in which duchenne muscular dystrophy affects their lives. 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). I work close with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) which is the largest nonprofit organization in the United States focused entirely on Duchenne. One of the participating family’s sons passed from Duchenne at 18 years of age. This family, the Klapp’s, happens to be my family and also huge race enthusiasts. My cousin Matthew's passing changed my life and I now hope to help others by aiding in funding research to find a cure. My younger cousin Jordan, who also has Duchenne, is my biggest fan. I want him around and hope that one day he can get out of that wheel chair and race his own race car.
Q: If you could race on any track which would it be?
A: Nürburgring in Germany. It's a little over 14 miles. I think this is the most challenging, and I like a challenge.
Q: How do students react to you being a race car driver?
A: It mostly goes, "NO WAY!" I don't introduce myself as a driver, I introduce myself as Shea. Of course when you get to know a person you learn more about them then they usually see on Facebook or Twitter that I race. All my friends introduce me as, "this is my friend that races!" Sometimes it's a little embarrassing because I don't know how people will react. Embarrassment quickly turns into excitement as I’m asked questions and then I can’t stop talking about it. Everyone at UCF is very supportive.
Q: What advice would you give to other girls who want to race?
A: Go for it, but really invest yourself in the sport whether it's a hobby or career. Racing is for adrenaline junkies! A few key aspects that have helped me include, being confident, humble, and surrounding myself with positive people.
Q: How does it feel to be recognized as a female race car driver at UCF?
A: Honestly, I love it! I work extremely hard on advancing my career and image as a female race car driver and it's nice to see that it doesn't go unrecognized. That is what’s great about UCF and Her Campus UCF, they support all student achievements.
Please visit the website just for the simple fact that within a day it's the 7th most read article out of 120 Her Campuses which landed us a spot on the national Her Campus website! Go Her Campus UCF, UCF Knights! http://www.hercampus.com/school/ucf/racing-her-dream?page=2