Singapore celeb Claire Jedrek turns ‘race queen’ – from behind the wheel

Passionate about cars and motorsports, Cheryl Tay is a familiar face in prominent local, regional as well as international automotive titles. She is equally enthusiastic about health and fitness and is always on the lookout for the latest workout trends. More of her and on Facebook, TwitterorInstagram (cheryltay11).

She’s probably used to turning heads everywhere she goes.

And now Claire-Louise Jedrek is about to set even more pulses racing by becoming a motorsports driver.

The stunning Britain-born Singaporean will debut in the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) come end March, driving a manual-transmission Honda Civic in a support race for the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit.

Jedrek, 31, plans to continue racing in the MSS after that, while exploring her options around Asia.

It’s been quite the turnaround for the TV presenter of shows like SuperSports 360 who only returned to Singapore at the end of 2012 after a two-year hiatus in Australia.

She had given up her job and life in Singapore to move Down Under with her then-boyfriend, only for their relationship to end, leaving Jedrek lost and heartbroken.

“When I first came back to Singapore, I didn’t know how things were going to work out but I changed my mindset; carried on doing what I love and it’s all worked out now,” she told Yahoo.

“Life picked up unexpectedly and carried on faster than I thought it would. Being older helps too!”

Love for racing

Jedrek only dived into the world of motorsports in 2013, starting with her first track experience during a Formula Renault testing in Zhuhai, China in January last year.

She then started karting at the temporary Changi Karting Circuit and also worked as a commentator for the Singapore Karting Championship.

Since making the official decision to start racing at the end of 2013, Jedrek has single-handedly clinched big-name sponsors like Puma in a bid to support her competitive pursuits.

But the one underlying factor that has helped Jedrek move on from her past, as well as to discover her newfound passion, is certainly current beau Yuey Tan, a Singaporean race driver who competes in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA).

It’s not surprising, then, that Tan also doubles up as her driving coach.

“I totally encourage her to go racing. Claire likes a lot of action-packed activities in her life and she has a personality that often pushes 110 per cent,” said the 32-year-old. “Motorsports is the perfect gift for her and can really enhance her personality.”

Jedrek spends about one and a half hours a day on a driving simulator, with Tan observing and analysing her technique for detailed discussion later.

Both of them are careful not to let their competitive involvement in motorsports get in the way of their relationship, with Tan “not allowed to” address Jedrek as “baby” when coaching her.

“It (motorsports) doesn’t rule our lives completely and in fact, improves the relationship a lot,” said Tan. “I’ve no expectations of her and I’ll do my best to help her with the process, such as creating the right racing package, both on the technical and marketing aspect.”

Jedrek also served as team manager of Tan’s racing team, an experience which undoubtedly amplified her love for and knowledge of motorsports.

“Working behind the scenes at PCCA gave me a good understanding of the sport, and I learnt a lot, helping out with the operational and logistical aspects,” she said. “It gave me a realisation that ‘hey, I can go racing too’… It was a natural progression.”

Fitness junkie

As one might tell from her pictures, Jedrek already has the physical requirements for racing covered down pat.

She typically works out five times a week, alternating between weight-lifting, high intensity interval training, running and cycling.

It’s merely an extension of what she’s been doing since young, starting from her time at Cedar Girls’ Secondary School where she was a cross-country and track-and-field athlete.

Jedrek has also competed in aggressive in-line skating at global extreme sports event X-Games, played floorball and taken up break-dancing.

At 31, does she think it's too late to go into a new sport like racing?

“I think I’m still mentally sharp…I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, with more willpower and endurance,” Jedrek declared.

“If I let this opportunity go, I wouldn’t know when I’d be able to race again. Don’t regret what you have done, regret what you haven’t done.”

She added: “I would love to look back and tell my grandchildren that I went racing.”

Click the photo below for more pictures of Jedrek.