Shea’s passion for driving started when she was 16 with a “Richard Petty Experience.” Shea quickly began excelling in the motorsports world through high performance driving events all throughout Florida. She then went on to obtain her SCCA license and since then Shea has been road racing competitively all over the nation with many organizations, from sprint races to 25 hour enduros. Shea debuted her first professional race season with SCCA World Challenge Pro Racing in 2010 finishing 6th in the championship.
Shea is an accomplished national competitive water skier holding numerous state, regional and national titles. Shea is now attending the University of Central Florida majoring in Communications and is racing in the 2011 Pirelli SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Series.
“Fear is a state of mind, will is an action taken.” Shea lives this quote and believes through commitment and determination anything is possible. Helping others is another love of Shea’s. Shea Racing partnered up with Frito Lay Corp., in 2008 to raise $12,500 for the Susan G. Komen “For the Cure.” She has also raised thousands of dollars and awareness for her charity of choice, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD.) PPMD benefits Duchenne muscular dystrophy which affects her own family.
Who have you mentored or/and who did someone mentor you in this industry to help you get started?
You know, I still have so much to learn in motorsports. But what I do know, I love sharing my knowledge and experience with people wanting to get involved or enhance their own race craft. I’ve mentored many males and females of all ages. One of my most memorable times mentoring was just recently with the Glass Hammer Racing Experience in Indianapolis coaching young ladies karting! It’s extremely rewarding knowing that you can help someone get faster, smarter and reach their goals. There are so many people I look up too but ones that have reached out to mentor me are Lyn St. James the 1992 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of The Year, Randy Pobst Multi-Year World Challenge GT Champion & Daytona 24 Hr Winner, John Doonan Manager of Mazda North America Motorsports, and Jody DeVere.
As a woman what features are your favorites in a car?
Oh, this could go on and on! Let’s see…
1. Great handling/suspension
2. “Great” cup holders
4. I’m a sucker for red dash lights
5. I want to feel like I’m melting in my seat
6. Electronic passenger accessories (seat) this is a hug pet peeve of mine
Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for females?
In my honest opinion it’s great to be a female racer in this male dominated industry. But I would say “we” have different obstacles to overcome like, adversity, independence, and proving ourselves. I think it “seems difficult” because there’s just not that many of us. In comparison to a male, even if it’s subconsciously, people hold female drivers to a different and even higher expectations then male drivers. And if we don’t deliver what people expect of us then, “we’re just not that good.” One word, false. I don’t mind what-so-ever that some might think this way. In fact, I’m up for the challenge. My new partnership with TrueCar has given me the opportunity to develop and be the best I can be for the 2012-2013 seasons. TrueCar and their Women Empowered Initiative will not only help women in the motorsports industry but also everyday Americans because car buying just became easier.
Why did you want to work in the auto industry?
Everything I’ve done whether it be competitive water skiing, soccer, even arts and crafts, I’ve always become totally obsessed with! About five years ago motorsports came into my life. I found my passion. First it started with the love for driving, and then I just naturally fell in love with the racing environment and people. The industry as a whole is why I have this passion and motivation to succeed as a driver and a business woman. It’s hard to explain exactly how I felt when I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was like everything became clear for me and I saw the road I’d travel down. Everything I’ve been wanting to do (career path, charity efforts and one day leaving behind a legacy) suddenly aligned.
First automotive job?
Driving race cars!
Proudest professional achievement?
Winning the Long Beach Grand Prix in Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car division 2011 and becoming the 3rd women to ever win at Long Beach alongside Simona De Silvestro and Katherine Legge.
Current challenge at work?
Joggling racing, school, and a part-time job!
Being a paid factory race car driver.
What you do to relax?
Many will say I don’t relax… but I’d like to think, boating, arts and crafts, and going out with friends.
Learn more about Shea Holbrook on her website.