“My long-term goal is to compete at Le Mans,” says Roscrea driver Nicole Drought
Roscrea’s Nicole Drought started motor racing in 2015. A novice to the sport, she took the driving scene by storm in a short time on the tracks of Ireland and the UK, and she remembers the start of her life where sport and driving around the country on the various rally circuits is where she fell in love with cars.
“When I was a kid coming from Tipperary I played a bit of camogie and played until I was about 16,” she recalled.
“But my dad had a car business and I was kind of always around the cars and he would have done a bit of rallying at the time too, so I was traveling around the country with him and that’s where I got my interest.
“I would say when I was six or seven I thought I was the main part of the team, assessing the car for damage when they came in for service! I therefore had a great interest from an early age in driving around my grandparents’ garden with the lawn mower. So that was sort of the start of all the interest in cars.
In such a male-dominated arena, Drought said she rarely noticed the fact that very few women were involved in the sport, and she just felt like she was at home behind the wheel and didn’t lend a hand. pay attention to anything else and had to work hard to give himself the opportunity to run.
“When I was following my dad I never noticed the lack of female drivers to be honest. I thought it was normal for me to be around cars and I never felt like it was a boy thing to do, so I never left like I was different.
“It wasn’t until I had several part-time jobs to try to save money that I had enough money to go out and buy my own race car and after that I went at Mondello Park for the first time in 2015 and drove the track, so that was probably the first time I noticed the lack of female drivers.
In her first two years of competition in 2015 and 2016, Drought competed in the Irish Touring Car Championship, becoming the first woman to win in the series in early 2016. She also made her sports car debut in 2016, driving a Global GT Light on the Anglesey circuit. in the UK, where she qualified second and finished fourth.
Her success was meteoric and towards the end of 2016 she was named by sportswomen.ie Irish Sportswoman of the Year, beating names such as Katie Taylor and Annalize Murphy in a public vote to decide the competition.
” I did not expect that. With the list of names on it, I just thought I had no hope! I guess motor racing is kind of in the minority compared to other sports and you think a lot of people wouldn’t consider you an athlete. So it was a bit of a shock but it made me realize that all the hard work is worth it and it gives motivation.
Despite its success, Sécheresse still needed significant sponsorship, as well as a full-time job to be competitive. Drought works for Shane Somers & Associates, an accounting firm in Limerick City, and while the cost and schedule can be hectic, she still loves every minute of her effort.
“That’s really the trickiest part (cost). There are times when you might get a call to run the following weekend and need to take Friday off, try to get late flights, and be back in time for work on Monday.
“It’s starting to wear you down. But I’m lucky that my boss is very understanding with all of this and lets me buy some time myself. So I’m lucky that way, but sometimes it gets tricky and makes you wonder why you’re doing it. It’s hard work, but when the wins come and/or a good performance, you realize why you’re doing it.
“It’s just such an expensive sport and I’m really lucky to have really loyal sponsors with me, but it’s really hard to raise the money and if you want to improve further it costs even more. It’s tough, but you have to show sponsors that you’re worth investing in.
“My long term goal is to do Le Mans or Daytona 500. But for this year I still have a few races in the UK as most of my races are there so hopefully I can progress from there,” she added.