Clare
Vale

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News

Clare Vale Returns to Circuit Racing
Great start to 2014 for the First Lady
Clare Vale has an Action Packed Return to V8 Racing
Clare Vale’s SupaDrift season Ignites
Supadrift Sideways For The First Lady
Positive Weekend at Z for the First Lady
Clare Vale back in Rolling Thunder at Z
Sideways and Forwards at SupaDrift in Port Shepstone
Successful karting day for The Road Safety Foundation

Results
Schedule

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Profile

At the Kyalami race in November 2007, Clare Vale became the first lady racer to race in the premier national WesBank V8 Supercar series. In March of 2009 at the WesBank V8 race at Kyalami, she became the first lady racer to take pole as well as lead a V8 race. Clare also became the first lady racer to have a podium finish in WesBank V8 Supercar history: at the historic East London Grand Prix circuit Clare finished a podium 3rd place in October 2010.

She then moved to the drifting motorsport discipline, becoming the first female driver to participate in the Supadrift Series. After moving between circuit racing and drifting during the 2012 season, she will be focusing on National drifting for the 2013 season.

Her Gatorback Ram sponsored Mustangs produces serious muscle, 600hp and 450kW of power. These engines make the V8 Supercars the fastest saloon cars in the country, and Clare’s drift Mustang is powered by the same engine, making it unique in South African drifting.

Clare won her first race during the Springbok series at the Killarney circuit in 2006, racing a Shelby Can-Am sports car. She has raced in the national Shelby Can-Am series as well in Production Cars Class A, in a Subaru STI. She has also raced a Porsche 917 in the International Sports Prototype class, finishing 2nd in the Championship in 2011.

Off circuit, Clare is a director of The Truck Man in Boksburg, dealers in used trucks and trailers. She has taken on the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre – De Wildt as a personal cause and is a past President of MSA’s (Motorsport South Africa) Women in Motorsport Panel. She has been nominated twice for the Colin Watling Award for service to motorsport.

In 2010, she was appointed as a Road Safety Ambassador for the Road Safety Foundation and in 2011 was appointed as Chairperson of the Women in Road Safety Forum.

Snippets


 

News


Clare Vale Returns to Circuit Racing


This weekend sees Clare Vale return to track racing at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria. She will be back behind the wheel of her RAM Mustang V8 Supercar. This will be the first round of the 2014 Super Series and Clare will be competing in the Sports & GT class for the first time in over a year.

Clare has been focusing on drifting recently and will be looking forward to shaking the cobwebs off the racing Mustang. There is a full field of V8s on the grid and as always, the racing will be fast and furious.

Clare Vale on the return: ”I’ve always loved racing the RAM Mustang in the V8 Supercar class, and I’m really keen to see if I can remember how not to drive sideways! The V8 drivers are back in full force for 2014 and we’re itching to show the Zwartkops spectators some real racing on Saturday.”
Source: www.clarevale.com/clare-vale-returns-to-circuit-racing/

Great start to 2014 for the First Lady


This weekend saw the first round of the National SupaDrift Championship travel to The Rock Raceway in Brakpan, and Clare Vale and her RAM Mustang were looking forward to starting the year on a good note at her home track. There was action aplenty as the course was extremely fast, leading to some expensive mistakes against the unforgiving walls of the oval circuit. Several competitors had to go home with severely damaged cars due to the tricky lines and the high speed the layout demanded.

Clare Vale qualified strongly in 22nd place out of 38 drifters, and went up against the highly experienced Hannes Frans. She pushed Frans very hard, but his consistency won through and he took the win over a very competitive Clare. Frans ended the event 3rd overall on the day, showing just how competitive Clare was at this SupaDrift event.

Clare Vale on the event: ”I was really looking forward to this event – it’s been a long break since last season and I always love drifting at The Rock. The RAM Mustang is in superb form and the high speed track really suited a high horsepower car. The standard of drifting was extremely high, and we knew we were in for a tough tandem against Hannes, who went all the way through to a podium finish. The RAM team was very satisfied to have such a positive start to the season and we know we can only improve on our results.”
Source: www.clarevale.com/great-start-to-2017-for-the-first-lady/

Clare Vale has an Action Packed Return to V8 Racing


This weekend saw Clare Vale make her return to the WesBank Super Series after a long break, and she found her pace very quickly. She qualified in 6th place and with a field of 24 entries, the scene was set for an exciting day!

Clare had a great start in Race One and was racing near the front of the pack when she had an unfortunate incident with one of Shelby Can-Ams. This resulted in a damaged rim and instant deflation of a rear tyre, ending her race. The team raced to repair the car in time for Race Two, where Clare started from 5th place on the grid.

She started well and was chasing the leaders when the safety car came out for a stricken Shelby. At the restart Clare ran wide through the hairpin as her tyres had lost some heat and she lost a few positions in the process. She had some exciting dices as she fought back to regain position and finished the day 7th overall, despite her non finish in the first race. All in all, the weekend was a positive return to the V8 Supercar class for the Gatorback RAM Mustang, but the team felt that Clare could have finished higher if not for the incident in the first race.

Clare on her race weekend: ”We had to do some frantic work to prepare the car, as we discovered that our motor had a problem the week before the event. With a lot of assistance from fellow V8 competitors, we found a second hand piston that could be modified to fit and only got the car to the circuit on the Thursday night. With no testing beforehand, we made the most of Friday practice, made some last minute changes on Saturday morning and ended up with a really good car on race day! A huge vote of thanks to my team and to all the people who went out of their way to help – I could not have raced without them.”
Source: femaleracingnews.com/drifting/clare-vale-has-an-action-packed-return-to-v8-racing/

Clare Vale’s SupaDrift season Ignites


Saturday saw Clare Vale compete in SupaDrift 6 at Zwartkops raceway in Pretoria. The Gatorback RAM team had to race to finish the car for this event after it was damaged at the previous Supadrift in Port Shepstone, so Clare had no practice on Friday but went straight into the short practice session on Saturday afternoon.

The huge amount of development work the team has done on the big Mustang is finally paying dividends, and Clare was able to get the car really working for her both in practice and qualifying. Although she didn’t make the Top 16 this time, Clare strung some awesome drift sequences together, much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd.

Clare Vale on her Drift weekend: ”The team was under huge pressure to get the car prepared for Supadrift 06, and we only arrived at Zwartkops late on Friday evening. Despite this, the Gatorback RAM Mustang felt awesome from the start, and I really felt at home in the big V8. We didn’t quite reach our goal of a Top 16 qualifying position, but we have plenty of time before our next event in September to perfect our style and I’m really looking forward to Supadrift 07.”
Source: Female Racing News

Supadrift Sideways For The First Lady


The weekend saw the SupaDrift 04 event form part of the successful Gauteng Motor Show at Zwartkops Raceway. It was the 4th round of this year’s national drift championship and Clare Vale was looking forward to building on the progress made at previous rounds.

Clare’s purpose built Gatorback RAM Drift Mustang has been a difficult car to set up as the racing team comes to grips with the new challenge of drifting. Drifting is also a sport that puts an enormous amount of strain on a car, and after only a few practise runs on Friday the team had to take the propshaft out for repairs. Driveline Technologies made sure that Clare’s car was ready for qualifying on Saturday afternoon, but the lack of practise time on the fast track layout took its toll and she was unable to qualify in the Top 16 this time.

Luckily this weekend David Nell and several of the experienced drifters stepped forward with some valuable advice for the team, and the team will make good use of their suggestions before the next event in July.

Clare Vale on Supadrift 4: ”We’ve had a lot of bad luck in our first season of national drifting, but I think a few challenges are to be expected with a newly developed car. We’re learning every time we compete and the Gatorback RAM team improves the car further after each event. I love drifting, though, and I’m really enjoying discovering the art of sideways! It’s also great to have so much support from the other drivers, who gave us some good ideas as to how we can make the “Big Dog” Mustang perform better.”
Source: femaleracingnews.com/drifting/supadrift-sideways-for-the-first-lady/

Positive Weekend at Z for the First Lady


The weekend saw Clare Vale compete in the V8 Supercar series as part of the WesBank Super Series. After a frustrating weekend at the previous race in Port Elizabeth, Clare was looking to bounce back and that she did. She showed good pace in qualifying putting herself 7th on the grid for race 1. Unfortunately an incident while overtaking resulted in some body damage to the Gatorback RAM Mustang and a forced pit stop. Although Clare returned to the race, she was already three laps down on the rest of the field.

Race 2 saw Clare start 8th on the grid. After some rubbing under yellows pushed her on to the dirt at the start, she managed to get a good race under her belt, finishing a solid 7th. Overall 7th was an excellent result on only her second V8 Supercar race this season. The team was awarded the Rose Foundation Team Spirit of the Day award, wonderful credit to a team that never stops working.

Clare Vale on her race weekend: “The team was looking forward to the Zwartkops event, as we always have great support from our sponsors who turn out in force to cheer us on. We’ve battled with an understeering car for several seasons, and decided to try a completely new set up for this race. Although it doesn’t really show in the results, the Gatorback RAM Mustang handled so much better this weekend and we are now really positive about the next race at Phakisa in August. It’s a shame, though, that the V8 Supercars have been excluded from the Durban Street Race during the Top Gear live show. This means that our class will lose out on a round of the Championship this year and the KZN petrolheads will miss seeing the flame spitting V8s in action.”
Source: clarevale.runridedive.com/positive-weekend-at-z-for-the-first-lady/

Clare Vale back in Rolling Thunder at Z


This Saturday sees Clare at Zwartkops raceway in her Gatorback RAM Mustang to compete in the V8 Supercar class as part of the WesBank Super Series. This is the team’s first local V8 Supercar race this year, with Clare’s first outing in Port Elizabeth at the beginning of the month.

The PE event was disappointing as the second race was stopped after a handful of laps due to Marc Auby’s car unfortunately catching fire and burning out. Clare has been honing her skills not only in circuit racing but also in the national SupaDrift Drifting series, and she is looking forward to a full day of National circuit racing.

Clare on the upcoming race weekend: “I really enjoyed driving the Gatorback RAM Mustang in PE, despite the unfortunate cancellation of the second race. The big V8 Supercars are still the ultimate thrill for a driver, and with a full field of 19 entries at Zwartkops the racing is sure to be close and fast! After battling for ages with chronic understeer in our Mustang, we’ve put our heads together with some of the most experienced drivers in the class and will be trying out a whole new set up this weekend. If it works, you can expect to see us right in the thick of the action!”
Source: clarevale.runridedive.com/clare-vale-back-in-rolling-thunder-at-z/

Sideways and Forwards at SupaDrift in Port Shepstone


Saturday the 12th of May saw the first ever motor sport event take place at the Dezzi Raceway in Port Shepstone. Clare Vale was there in her Gatorback RAM Drift Mustang in this, the third round of this year’s SupaDrift championship. Practice started well as Clare came to grips with the track but a broken shock early on Friday meant that she had virtually no track time before qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

A frantic hunt for a suitable replacement shock ensued with no success, so eventually the team did some creative welding in order to get out in time for qualifying. Unfortunately, Clare didn’t make the top 16 this time but was at least able to put on a bit of a show for the enthusiastic crowd.

Clare on the race weekend: ”Dezzi Raceway was a fantastic venue for Round Three of Supadrift! People turned out in their thousands and they loved their first taste of drifting. The Gatorback RAM team was unlucky, as we lost out on all our practise time and had to go straight into qualifying. The Mustang is showing real promise, though, and all the time spent on development is starting to pay dividends. I’m really enjoying the new challenges of drifting and I have no doubt that the “Big Dog” V8 is going to be even more popular with spectators as its handling continues to improve.”
Source: clarevale.runridedive.com/sideways-and-forwards-at-supadrift-in-port-shepstone/

Successful karting day for The Road Safety Foundation


Sunday the 6th of May saw Clare Vale and the Gatorback RAM team host a charity karting day in aid of The Road Safety Foundation. Teams from Renault SA, Renault Retail Organisation, Honda SA, Gatorback RAM, the AA of SA, Liqui-Moly, ATS Motorsport, Locost SA, Fleetwatch magazine and the Top Class Automotive sponsored ‘Friends of the Foundation’ team competed in a 2 Hour endurance race. The Friends of the Foundation team included the Sunday Times’ Thomas Falkiner, Talk Radio 702’s Sagie Moodley, Cars in Action’s Phuti Mbyane, ABR’s Graham Erasmus and Barend Kruger from the Foundation .

The racing was wheel to wheel and hard fought, with some extremely quick times from the top teams. At the finish, the top three karts saw the flag with only a minute between them. All the teams enjoyed a day of fun and team building, with superb displays erected by Renault SA and Liquimoly and plenty of Red Bull on hand to give the drivers wings.

The day was a great success as the event managed to raise in excess of R30,000.00 for The Road Safety Foundation.

Clare Vale on the event: ”It was fantastic to have such great support from the teams who raced on the day. Road safety is such a critical issue in South Africa, and The Road Safety Foundation needs all the help it can get. They do incredible work in so many areas, including running a Safety Centre at Van Reenen’s Pass over holiday periods, and they have saved many lives over the years. We’re very grateful to all the entrants who made our donation possible.”
Source: clarevale.runridedive.com/successful-karting-day-for-the-road-safety-foundation/

Results

2012 This is an exciting and busy year for the Gatorback RAM team. Clare will be running her new Mustang V8 drift car in the National Supadrift Series, as well as racing in the V8 Supercar circuit racing series. She will also participate in the Porsche 917 ISP class when the calendar allows..

2011 The Gatorback RAM team focussed on racing their Porsche 917 replica in the International Sports Prototype class, finishing second in the Championship despite some non-finishes early in the season. Clare also took part in the two final WesBank V8 Supercar races at Zwartkops, but the team spent a lot of their time developing and testing their purpose built drift Mustang. Clare became President of WIM but resigned from the panel by the end of 2011. Clare then became part of the newly formed Women In Road Safety forum and was voted in as the forum’s inaugural Chairperson.

2010 Mrs Fast had a difficult season in the V8 class, with some unlucky non finishes. She still made history by taking 3rd overall at the daunting East London circuit and becoming the first female driver to stand on the WesBank V8 Supercar podium. Clare became Vice-President of WIM.

2009 Clare and the Gatorback RAM team made great progress in her second season, becoming the first lady racer to start a WesBank V8 race from pole and in the process becoming the first lady racer to lead a WesBank V8 race.

2008 saw the First Lady have her first full season in the WesBank V8 Supercar Series. Her best finish that year was in Port Elizabeth, where she came home 5th overall and secured her first trophy in the series in the process. Her partnership with Gatorback RAM also commenced in 2008. This year also saw Clare start her relationship with the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, a relationship that continues to this day. The Centre was chosen as the “green affiliate” to the racing team. In addition Clare became the car circuit racing representative on MSA’s (Motorsport South Africa) WIM (Women in Motorsport) panel.

2007 saw Clare become the first lady racer to race in the Bridgestone Production Cars Class A class. This was a short lived stint in the Subaru STI as team politics led her to leave the team after only one race. She then entered the last WesBank Super Series race of the 2007 season to make her debut in the WesBank V8 Supercar series.

2006 Clare again raced in the Shelby Can-Am series. She was awarded “Driver of the Day” on several occasions and finished the year with a strong haul of points, despite a number of unlucky non-finishes.

2005 saw her first full season competing in the National Shelby Can-Am series. She slowly built her confidence with controlled and calm performances in the series.

2004, in October, was the year Clare started her racing career in the Shelby Can-Am series. Her aim was not to finish last and to finish the race in one piece – both of which she did and the racing career of ‘The First Lady’ started in earnest. She was the first lady driver to compete in a Shelby Can –Am.

Schedule

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