2016 has been a busy year for this young driver. Finishing off the year with being named sportswomen.ie’s Irish Sportswoman of the Year, Nicole Drought also received the Civic Award from Tipperary County Council (for her achievements), became a Member of Murphy Prototypes Young Driver Programme, became the first Irish Ambassador for the Sean Edwards Foundation, was the First female winner in Irish Touring Cars (Mondello Park, April), came Second in class- Maxol Fuel Economy Drive and of course – Winner of Irish Sportswoman of The Year 2016 – sportswomen.ie
We caught up with Nicole to ask for some tips and find out her plans for the year ahead!
As 2016 comes to an end, did you expect to achieve so much this year?
“Well, initially we expected more! I won the first race at Mondello and led the championship going to rounds 3&4 in Bishopscourt. I had a mechanical breakage at high speed in qualifying and missed both races as a result. When the car was rebuilt, we had a handling imbalance which we could not trace. The car was borderline undriveable and a number of different teams tried to fix it, without success. We made the decision to try Global GT lights at mid season and did a test day at Kirkstown- I loved them. Loads of grip, a 6 speed sequential box and an engine that revs to 12,000 rpm! I went to Anglesea in the UK to do a round of their championship, qualified on the second row and finished fourth, having briefly led the race. ”
So far what are your main goals for 2017? – For 2017 I will more than likely compete in Global GT Lights in the UK, dovetailed with some sportscar testing in the UK and France. I also intend to compete in Ireland when possible- the class is undecided but it won’t be ITCC. My goals are to win some Global races, hopefully challenge for the title, and get as much testing as I can under my belt. I also intend to become more closely involved with Murphy Prototypes by doing simulator work with them, attending some more ELMS races, and learning as much as possible.
What would you say to a young girl who has an interest in motorsport but feels intimidated by such a male dominated sport? I would tell that young girl to go for it- but make sure you have good people around you from the start. I think that the playing field is level and as I have said before, any obstacles you come up against can be balanced by the promotional value of being a woman in a male dominated sport.
What is your key tip for staying focused on your goals ?
Self belief and determination are the two main things you need. Once again though, always have good people in your corner- that is as important as any other aspect of the sport!
Nicole Drought, sportswomen.ie Irish Sportswoman of The Year:
“I’m really happy to win in this one. I could not believe the support I received once I was nominated. I would like to thank everyone who voted, Leo Nulty Promotions for all their work this year and sportswomen.ie, who have kept readers informed on my progress all year too.”
To keep up to date with Nicole check out her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nicoledroughtracing/