Shea started 3rd and finished 5th overall in the Pirelli World Challenge Championships Touring Car Round 5, Touring Car-B Round 3 race, part of the Privacy Star Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park.

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Born April 10, 1990 in Jacksonville, Shea’s childhood was typical of most young girls growing up with one exception, she seemed to show early on of being a bit fearless.

Shea spent a lot of time around the water and boating with her family and at the age of 8 became a competitive water skier with the American Water Ski Association, competing in slalom, jump and trick skiing events all over the country. She quickly became a nationally ranked competitor holding numerous State, Regional and National Titles.

In the summer of 2006, while at the Daytona International Speedway Shea got her first experience at 150+mph in the Richard Petty Experience ride-along program. Upon exiting the car Shea realized a completely new passion. She had always dreamed of being a race car driver but the thrill of actually experiencing the sensations changed everything.

With help from a friend of Shea’s dad, Michael Kern of MJK Racing, she embarked on her new racing career. First starting out attending High Performance Driving Events with her new race ready Acura Integra with organizations like Chin Motorsports and the National Auto Sports Association (NASA). After almost a year of honing her driving skills, Shea attended her first Racing Licensing Accreditation Schools with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) back were it all started, Daytona International Speedway.

While in a room full of testosterone and feeling a bit intimidated being a female and the youngest person there Shea made her way on the track. The intimidation quickly went away though. Instead of being passed by other cars, as she initially thought would happen, it was the other way around. Shea was not only passing cars, she was passing all of the cars. By the end of the school weekend Shea was placed on the Pole Position for her first race and was granted a wavier for the second school requirement by the SCCA Instructors allowing her to start racing immediately.


Shea Holbrook in the Pirelli World Challenge Series

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Piloting the #67 2012 Honda Civic Si race car in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car, Shea Holbrook landed an impressive and hard-fought 5th place for Race 1, but tangled with a GTS-class competitor on Lap 11 and was unable to continue the race, finishing 12th. She has her sights set on the next event in Utah on April 8.

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Shea Holbrook, a 21-year-old UCF student, drives the No. 67 Honda Civic Si in the Pirelli World Challenge

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Shea Holbrook, 18, of Groveland, FL was named the inaugural recipient of the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Scholarship for the first phase of the Women in the Winner’s Circle (WWC) Foundation Driver Development Academy.


What I Learned From Hanging Out With The McLaren P1's Development Chief

McLaren's stand was always busy at the Geneva Motor Show, with great people around including Ron Dennis himself. They also had the best dessert, champagne, the MP4-12C with and without a roof and the F1 LM XP1. Of course the main attraction was the P1 hypercar, and we talked to someone who probably knows more about that than anybody else: Paul Mackenzie, leader of the P1 development program, and head of Special Operations at McLaren.

Google doesn't help much when you want to do your research on this guy. He is the head of Special Operations which made the insane X-1 among others using the MP4-12C's platform. We were also assured that "he is great", and we will "really enjoy talking with him". Both turned out to be true while according to Paul, he is not even a proper petrol head.

That's because he is a material engineer who started at the aerospace industry before joining McLaren in 1999. After learning about composites and being aware of the supercars of the era like the F1 or the Jaguar XJ220, he almost ended up working for the automotive industry straight away when was offered a job by the company involved with Yamaha's never happened OX99-11 supercar. Never mind, a bit of aerospace knowledge is always welcome at supercar makers!

We are standing behind the P1, but I still want to start with its predecessor. The F1 is a legend, and McLaren is very much aware of its importance. They keep track of about fifty F1s around the world, and with two or three changing hands every year, they are usually also helping with the transactions. Not too many F1s were destroyed so far, and no matter if it's just a regular service or a complete rebuild like Rowan Atkinson's car, owners take them back to their birthplace 23 miles from London: Woking.

Talking of Rowan Atkinson's $1.4 million repair job, he can't help having a proud smile. Since the impact was so severe that the engine got detached from the chassis, getting it fixed was a challenging job even for McLaren as they had to look for all the long forgotten tooling and drawings. I thought everything have been digitalized at the spaceship called McLaren, but it turns out they still have to do some old-fashioned library research for special cases like this.

So there we are, standing not far from the Papaya Orange legend (which Lewis Hamilton is not getting after all), and very close to the yellow car that they hope will become one. The P1's development needed some sacrifices from all parties. Paul's job was mostly about making sure that the team of around a hundred engineers and technicians work together with the aerodynamics team and the designers led by Frank Stephenson instead of everybody trying to push through their own ideas at all costs. The P1 program started with some very hard target numbers, and everything had to come together in order to reach them.

With a 903 horsepower hybrid capable of getting to 186 mph in under 17 seconds and the organic body wrapped around the clever mechanics, I guess they've might just about done it. Paul also had to drive the car occasionally, and the thought of that made him this happy:


When I ask why they make only 375 P1s instead of let's say 400, he says that at this level, volume is the driving factor for most buyers. They promised to make "under 500" cars in the beginning, Ferrari will produce 499 (already sold) LaFerraris, so the P1 will be much more exclusive at 375.

If the P1 is just as impressive on the road as on paper, that $1.3 million price tag will most likely to get much higher in the following years.

McLaren made the best car in the world in 1992, and only time will tell if they've done it again. Sitting in the P1, I can only feel that everything they know from Formula-1 and previous road going McLarens was built into this car. Bare carbon fiber is everywhere, there's a steering wheel in front of me wrapped in lightweight Alcantara with two buttons aimed at my thumbs, one of which is for deactivating the massive rear wing for the ultimate high speed run. Who knows what could it do without being limited to 217.

We are just about to say goodbye to Paul, but before doing that, we got some great news from him about a smaller model coming no later than 2015. Paul said after ticking both the supercar and the hypercar box, an entry-level McLaren is the next step for the brand. For those of you out there who didn't make it to the P1's or the MP4-12C/12C Spyder's order list, here is your chance to smile!

Shea Holbrook's Fireball Run blog: An "adventurally" to remember

Shea Holbrook, who drives the TrueCar Racing Honda Civic in the Pirelli World Challenge, recently took part in the Fireball Run. It's a little bit like the legendary Cannonball Run…except it requires intelligence, imagination and it's done for a great cause: to raise awareness of America's missing children. Here's her report, with a video summary of the event following at the end.

Race crews enjoy the off season, while drivers typically go crazy. The adrenaline starts to trickle out of our veins and we've got to find something to keep us occupied. Back in May an opportunity presented itself that would keep me in the seat for eight straight days during the off season. So, when my championship race came to an end in August you bet I was looking forward to this so-called “adventurally” called the Fireball Run.

Fireball Run is a live destination-based competition in America with some of the most character-driven personalities ranging from successful business owners, elected officials, celebrities, and corporate leaders from abroad. In the words of Executive Producer, JJ Sanchez, “Fireball Run Northern Exposure will be EPIC, EPIC, EPIC!” You have no idea how many times we heard the word “epic” in one day! For eight days, through 14 cities, and 2,500 miles we got hands-on with grassroots America, receiving unprecedented access and leaving destinations better than when we arrived.

From a fireworks send off in Independence, Ohio on Sept. 21, to a parade finish in Bangor, Maine, we had to navigate solely based off of clues. We could use anything and anyone to solve clues, and accomplish missions. Clues lead us to find pieces of history, road side points-of-interest, attractions, brands, even pop culture. The only address we had was where we were to sleep at night and let me tell you, some days all we were looking forward to was going to bed: Some 80 people and 40 teams went head-to-head uncovering clues, driving and running around like crazy for 12 hours non-stop every day to complete missions and bonuses (which could have been real or completely fake).

You name the personality and Fireball Run had it. You name the car and Fireball Run had it. My teammate, Tarah Mikacich (pro wakeboarder and my lifelong friend) and I competed against an astronaut, the president of the Hard Rock Hall of Fame and even a female lumberjack. Some teams had exotic and sexy cars, others more typical and historic, and then there were the extremely odd cars. To ramble off a few: there was a Lamborghini Aventador, a 1981 DMC-12 DeLorean Time Machine as featured in the Back to the Future trilogy, a Ferrari 458 Italia, a Devon GTX, a Porsche 911, a Fisker Karma, a Rally Fighter, a water truck, an ambulance, and our sexy blue and pink hotrod, a 2012 Honda Accord V6 (with sat-nav of course) provided by Hendrick Honda.

We traveled from Independence to Wellsboro, Pa., Jamestown and Watertown, NY., Waterbury, CT, and Ogunquit and Bangor, Maine. Thankfully, we partnered up with some other more experienced teams to help us as we were the rookies. Using more brainpower than horsepower, we were doing fairly well within the first hour of the first day when we snapped a photo (which we get extra points for) of a fellow Fireballer pulled over by a cop!

Uncovering clues led us to partake in some of the most amazing well-kept secrets in America. We sat in Lucille Ball's Mercedes and held her Emmy, we also sat in Robert H. Jackson's chair at the desk he used as chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials, things that no one has done since the pieces were restored. I felt at home when we went to Watkins Glen and met president of the track Michael Printup, then met up with Skip Barber himself at Lime Rock...and then there were pumpkins. Yes, we raced in gigantic 500-1,000lb pumpkins in the water with a paddle. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the hard working people of Cummings Diesel and felt the power of a 500hp diesel engine that they make for 18-wheelers.

Speaking of great people, every town we went to truly hosted us. We would roll into town seeing thousands of proud citizens on the streets welcoming Fireball Run. The community effort was... unbelievable. Have you ever wondered where those little great smiling trees that you hang in your car come from? Somewhere in Watertown, NY., in a remote area… that's hard to find!

You know how every once in a while someone wants to know something about you that not that many others know? Well, I have a thing for graveyards, so when we went to a real graveyard where Pet Sematary was filmed, and had re-enacted a scene, you could say I was in heaven… no pun intended. (OK, maybe a little…) While we actually did many other things, these were some of my favorites.

Lastly, I'll share one bonus that seemed a bit risqué from the beginning. We got very up close and personal with the beautiful Pennsylvania Grand Canyon where we were to wear nothing… well, nothing but a toga. I will never forget the face of a nearby sightseer when we ran by in togas.

I said there were a few “fake bonuses” thrown in the mix. I don't remember the clue but we were to find a specific baseball field. We'd been on a roll, cranking out bonuses and then we ended up at Cooperstown Dream Park where we were to go throw a baseball only to find out the guard at this baseball park had absolutely no idea who we were and why we were there. Nor would he even let us in. It was a fake bonus and we didn't tell too many people about that one.

Everywhere we went we helped a local charity along the way. Together we donated over $10,000 in toys, sports equipment, learning games, and more. Some call Fireball Run a rally, car show, or a game and, in fact, all are accurate but it's so much more. The purpose of the “adventurally” is to aid in the recovery of missing children by being a massive awareness campaign. Along the way people asked us how to donate and the truth is, "We don't need donations to find missing children: We need people looking and we need business owners to be willing to hang a poster.

Each team got a child to represent from their region. Every time Tarah and I stepped foot out of the car we had posters in hand of the missing child we were representing. In our case, it was youngster Donald Jackson. So, we found it only fitting for our team name to represent Donald and put our girl spin on it, PrettyTough4DJ. Fireball Run distributed over 200,000 posters and received $42 million worth in news media. We were covered by live stream webcast and local news everywhere we went. From this live rolling production, Universal will be making a full-length movie for next year's Orlando Film Festival, plus a series of "webisodes" that will air on next summer. There were over 350 news stories regarding this year's Fireball Run and its Race to Recover America's Missing Children, which ultimately gave these children a voice again.

Fireball Run gave me a different perspective on life. In Schenectady, NY, at dinner I sat next to a man I didn't recognize. When I asked him who he was, I was very taken aback. He introduced himself with the following: “I'm a father of a missing child you're looking for, and he's been missing for eight years.” Needless to say, I welled up. He told me how every day he wonders where he is or if he's even alive. We hugged and the last thing he said to me was, “I can never repay you all for what you're doing for my family.” Well let me tell you, that hug said everything – and I'm a hugger myself!

The last day of the Fireball Run was probably my favorite. At the end of every day, teams could go online to see where they currently placed in the overall rankings, but in the last two days of the rally that option is removed which, as you can imagine, builds anticipation. Given how competitive Tarah and I are, we definitely wanted to do well. We were at the banquet in Bangor, eating an amazing dinner and sipping on some wine while listening to the awards, when suddenly we heard JJ refer to “The Girls.” We had won the Sedan class! I tell you, I've never been more excited over a plastic road sign in my life!

We have many people to thank for putting us in the Fireball Ball; TrueCar, Hendrick Honda, O'Brien Wakeboards, Lucas Oil, Growing Champions For Life, Race4Girls, Livin Over Board,, Live Your Legacy Summit, Ten-80, and Hangtyte. We also express our sincere appreciation to the communities that hosted us and to the whole Fireball Run production. It was EPIC!

In a week I get to rekindle my love for my fellow Fireballers when we get together to attend the Orlando Film Festival to watch last year's Fireball Run. Before that though, you can read about my Pirelli World Challenge season, here on

Holbrook overcomes challenges to take Top-10 finish at Mid-Ohio

Shea Holbrook piloted her No. 67 TrueCar/Virgin Honda Civic Si to her ninth top-10 finish of the season despite challenging conditions both on and off the racetrack. In this past weekend’s doubleheader Pirelli World Challenge at Mid Ohio Sportscar Course, Holbrook overcame mechanical difficulties in qualifying as well as a slick race track in round 2 to come away with one top-ten finish and maintain her fourth place points in the Championship.

“Mid Ohio is one of those races you never know what to expect. Track conditions constantly change and weather is unpredictable,” said Holbrook.

After finishing on the podium twice at her previous race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the 22-year old TrueCar Racing Women Empowered initiative driver was hoping to continue that momentum into rounds ten and eleven at Mid Ohio.

During qualifying for race one Holbrook had an incident on the exit of turn seven which damaged the car beyond repair forcing the Team to prepare the back-up car.

“After qualifying we deemed our primary car un-drivable,” said Holbrook. “However, thanks to the relentless efforts of our crew they were able to prepare our backup car for the rest of the weekend.”

Because of the new car entry Holbrook was forced to start from the back of the field (15th) on Saturday. Saturday’s race was dry and humid and Holbrook looked to be very comfortable in the backup car as she charged through the field finishing sixth. “Every time we go on track the crew amazes me. We’ve really come a long way,” Holbrook said with arms around her team.

Forecast showed rain for Sunday’s race and as predicted the rain came. Based off her fastest lap time of race one Holbrook started fifth on the grid. “Track conditions were extremely tough and even the rain line had very limited grip. I was actually pleased with our performance in the rain as we had implemented overtaking strategies in very wet conditions. But to win that race we needed to stay on track.” Towards the end of the race Holbrook went off in turn eleven and when reentering the track she found herself caught in the GTS field making the situation hard to catch the TC field. Holbrook finished eleventh in the rain.

“This weekend was a learning experience for all of us. We faced our challenges and ended up with one top-ten and maintaining our position in the Championship. I’m proud of the entire TrueCar Team because we can walk away knowing we all gave 100% and gained additional on-track experience. We are confident that as we continue to gain on-track experience we will continue to improve. But Mid Ohio sure does have true love for TrueCar, thank you race fans!”

Holbrook currently sits fourth in the Touring Car Championship with 881 points. Watch the Pirelli World Challenge races from Mid Ohio on NBC Sports, Saturday, August 25th at 1:30-3PM eastern.

The season comes to an end with an exciting tripleheader weekend at Sonoma Raceway August 24-26, 2012 alongside the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Continue watching Shea Holbrook’s live in-car video during all race weekends and revisit Mid Ohio right from her cockpit on

Shea Holbrook Wins the Cooper Tire Scholarship At The Women in the Winner’s Circle Driver Development Academy

Holbrook is one of 12 women drivers invited to participate in the 15th Academy classes

Shea Holbrook, 18, of Groveland, FL was named the inaugural recipient of the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Scholarship for the first phase of the Women in the Winner’s Circle (WWC) Foundation Driver Development Academy.

“Cooper Tire’s decision to support the Academy and Shea demonstrates not only their support of training and educating young women drivers, but also their belief that women can be successful in all areas of motorsports,” said Lyn St. James, former professional motorsports driver and founder of the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation and Driver Development Academy. “By choosing to partner with this program, Cooper Tire is helping move motorsports forward as a gender integrated industry.”

In 2008, Holbrook raced in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) ITS Class in her 1998 Acura Integra. She has also driven this car in the Formula and Automobile Racing Association (FARA) MP Classes and in National Auto Sports Association (NASA) events. Her next race is 25 Hours of Thunderhill in Richmond, CA on a four female team called DivaSpeed.

Holbrook’s long term goals in racing are driving open wheel race cars. In early 2008 Shea attended the Skip Barber two and three day advanced racing classes and earned her open wheel racing credential with the Skip Barber Racing Series. On October 25, 2008, Shea finished on the podium in the Skip Barber Southern Regional Race at Carolina Motorsports Park. For more information on Shea Holbrook log on to

The Foundation’s Complete Driver Academy is a comprehensive educational and training program for talented women race drivers who aspire to the professional levels of motorsports. Entry into the Academy is highly competitive and all women drivers who want to be considered must have raced at least three years, complete the Academy application and provide a documented race resume. The first phase of the 2008-2009 Academy was held November 14 -16 at Athletes Performance Institute and Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. The weekend included hands on workshops by Dr. Jacques Dallaire of Performance Prime who taught the young women how to maximize their performances through focus and “rules of the mental road.” The weekend also included baseline physical fitness evaluations; an exercise session to shape programs to improve fitness levels, and nutrition, bio feedback and visualization workshops.

Established in 1994, the Academy has a two-fold purpose: (1) identify potential champion women drivers who have demonstrated success on the track and have a desire to pursue a career in professional motorsports; and (2) create an experience that will provide the tools to further women drivers’ careers in motorsports as well as enhance their lives on and off the track.

The Academy is a full year program including three onsite weekends: Weekend 1 – Physical and Mental Preparation; weekend 2 – Business Seminars and Media Training; and weekend 3 – On-track time and technical. Each participant leaves the weekend session with a series of assignments and deliverables that must be completed prior to be invited to the next session. Academy staff are available throughout the year to give counsel and support to the


  • November 25th, 2008 – 3rd Place Finish in the Skip Barber Southern Regional Race at Carolina Motorsports Park
  • August 29-31, 2008 – 4th Place Finish in ITS at the SCCA Labor Day Race, Sebring International Raceway
  • August 9-10, 2008 – 3rd and 4th Place Finish in the Mazda Teen Challenge,Road Atlanta, Georgia
  • July 11-12, 2008 – 5th Place Finish in the Mazda Teen Challenge, Mid-Ohio- Lexington, Ohio
  • July 8, 2008 – Skip Barber - Road Atlanta
  • June 22, 2008 – 4th Place finish in Teen Mazda Challenge, Hyperfest Summit Point, WV.
  • June 7, 2008 – 24th Lakeland USA International Speedway, Goodyear Challenge Series 100, Late Model
  • May 16, 2008 – 17th Place finish at Orlando Speedworld, Goodyear Challenge Series 100, Late Model.
  • May 10, 2008 – 3rd Place Finish FARA Homestead Speedway, Shea is now the Points Leader for the 2008 Season.
  • May 3, 2008 – 11th Place Spec Miata National Class Finish, Daytona International Speedway.
  • April 12, 2008 – 6th Place New Smyrna Speedway, FASCAR Competition Late Model – Race
  • February 2008 – Skip Barber lapping day, Sebring International Raceway
  • January 26, 2008 – Talent of the Year Award, Sobre Rodas Racing Media Association.
  • January 17, 2008 - 31st Place Finish – Porsche & BMW Club, Six Hour Night Endurance Race, Sebring International Raceway. A field of 66 cars started the race. At the 1 1/2 hour mark Shea was in 6th Place overall and 2nd place in Class. At the 3 hour mark Shea was in 10th Place overall and 2nd in class. At the 4 ½ mark the engine suffered a catastrophic ignition failure that the team could not repair. Having completed over half the race the official results put Shea at 31st overall.
  • December 28, 2007 –Skip Barber Two Day Advanced Open Wheel School, Moroso Motorsports Park
  • December 23, 2007 – 3rd Place, FARA 2.5 hour Endurance Race, Homestead Speedway
  • December 9, 2007 – Skip Barber Three Day Open Wheel School, Sebring International Raceway
  • November 25, 2007 – 11 Place, SCCA Turkey Trot Sebring International Raceway
  • October 20, 2007 – 8th Place, SCCA Sebring International Raceway
  • September 8, 2007 – 4th Place, FARA Homestead International Speedway
  • September 1, 2007 – 1st Place, NASA Homestead International Speedway
  • July 14, 2007 – 2nd Place, FARA Homestead International Speedway
  • June 3, 2007 – 11th Place SCCA, Sebring International Raceway
  • August 4, 2008 – Skip Barber, Road Atlanta
  • August 9-10, 2008 – Teen Mazda Challenge, Road Atlanta
  • September 11-14, 2008 – Teen Mazda Challenge, Mid-Ohio


 2007 & 2008 Racing Seasons for Shea has her competing in several different organizations driving both closed and open wheeled cars.

Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) she has been racing the ITS Class in her 1998 Acura Integra. She has also driven this car in the Formula and Automobile Racing Association (FARA) MP Classes and the National Auto Sports Association (NASA).

Shea’s long term goals in racing are driving Open Wheeled race cars. In 2008 Shea attended the Skip Barber two and three day advanced racing classes and earned her Open Wheeled racing credential with the Skip Barber Racing Series. She plans on Racing in the Southern Regional Series in the fall of 2008. Shea plans to fine tune her Open Wheeled driving skills by continuing to do practice/lapping sessions with Skip Barber unitil the fall Southern Regional Series starts.

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