Shawn Marie Kiesel 2008 E Mod Ladies Solo National Champion

by Scott Hearne on June 16, 2009

Shawn Marie Kiesel is a relative newcomer on the national Solo scene but in the short time she has been in the sport she has notched two National Championships in two different but related cars. Both have been powered by turbocharged Mazda rotary engines with her latest victory coming behind the wheel of the family 2008 KFR Turbo Sprite on Goodyear tires. Shawn Marie resides in southern California and is a member of the San Diego Region SCCA.
RR: Is this your first attendance at Nationals?
SMK: No, 2008 was my third trip to Nationals. My first year was in 2006 with only doing a couple of events before Nationals.

RR: Is this your first National Championship? 
SMK: No, I have one other in B Prepared Ladies in 2006.

RR: What was your favorite memory of the competition?
SMK: Looking over and seeing my husband and kids screaming and jumping up and down with joy when they found out that I won.

RR: What do you think was your key to success?
SMK: Walking the course many times and listening to Jeff when he is giving me advice.

RR: Who has most influenced you?
SMK: My husband Jeff. He kept telling me I should start autocrossing and at first I didn’t want to. He knows that I am a competitive person and thought I’d be good at it. He finally talked me into it and I’m glad he did. It is such a fun sport.

RR: Who inspires you?
SMK: Jeff and my father-in-law, Mark. Watching the two of them working as a team has really inspired me. They really enjoy this sport and are fun to watch.

RR: Do you have any special pre-race routine, or any superstitions you follow?
SMK: No.

RR: Do you have any driving aids or tools you use to help you?
SMK: A seat insert so that I can reach the pedals.

RR: What do you think you do differently than your competition?
SMK: Not sure.

RR: Have you attended any driving school?

RR: Describe your driving style.
SMK:  I only started in 2006, so I’m still learning!

RR: What was your first and favorite autocross car?
SMK: A 1997 BMW M3 was the first; this car is my favorite…

RR: If you could change one Solo rule – either for your specific class or in general — what would it be?
SMK: Not sure.

RR: Who would you like to thank for your success?
SMK: Jeff. He built a car that is fast and fun to drive. He has the car working really well. So I trust the car the more I drive it.

Photos courtesy of & Shawn Marie Kiesel

For copies of photos email david @

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