Read Keanna's chat with the Classic Car Club of Manhattan:
Don’t even think about letting her age or sweet demeanor fool you, Keanna Erickson-Chang is an absolute badass behind the wheel. Whether it’s ice racing, autocross, road, or stage rally, she has set out to master performance driving in all it’s forms. Since her start in 2013, she has quickly proven she’s serious when it comes to driving, racking up titles of Rookie of the Year with AMEC 2014, most SL4 race wins and second in points with AMEC 2015, Vice-Champion in the B-Spec National Championship with Rally America 2016 & 2017 and was the first and only woman to have made it into the Wells Fargo Invitational Autocross Shootout 2014. Not only is she a tough as nails competitor but she’s also managed two endurance racing teams (Earn the Drive Racing and G-Tron) having finished second in season points with American Endurance Racing in 2015 & 2016.
This year, Keanna will compete in numerous national rallies domestically and abroad – next stops: Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, March 16-17, and then off to Morocco on the 18th to tackle the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles – the only women’s rally raid in the world that takes place 100% off-road without the aid of modern technology for guidance. The Gazelles are of all ages, social backgrounds, nationalities, and have varying levels of off-road experience. Whether in a 4×4, crossover, quad, truck or motorbike, teams must maneuver without the aid of GPS or modern equipment for guidance, instead relying only on a compass, guidebook, and maps to plot routes and plan their itinerary. It’s not about speed with this one, the winning team must complete the most checkpoints while logging the least kilometers.
Dedicated to sharing her love for racing with future generations, Keanna also spends time working with F1 In Schools – a STEM based program that allows students to design, build, manage teams, and race miniature CO2 powered cars. “I love seeing kids who are passionate about the racing world – either in driving, engineering or as fans”, says Erickson-Chang, “the life-skills that they gain in the competition, particularly on the business side of things, are invaluable. It’s absolutely stunning what these kids are able to accomplish. Seeing what they achieve at such a young age instills a lot of hope in their generation.“
To follow her racing journeys or to Support her team, Over-Hyphenated, in the upcoming Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles:
Facebook – @keanna.rally
– When behind the wheel in competition, sometimes your mind says no, but your race instinct says…. “we’re fine, stay in it” if you don’t frequently have these moments, you’re not trying hard enough.
– My proudest racing moment/biggest accomplishment so far has been…. my class win on Bob Lake at night in 2016 (the stage that I crashed on during my very first rally) or my dual 2WD stage wins at Sno*Drift earlier this year.
– Something that will surprise people about me…. I was very indifferent towards anything car-related prior to getting my license. I have more interest now but I’m still not an auto-aficionado – my passion is for driving!
– The most important lesson I’ve learned through racing is…. the art of letting go. When I first started performance driving, frustration always got the best of me.
– When I’m not behind the wheel, you’ll find me…. enjoying the outdoors or working on my programme – networking, finding sponsors, taking care of my body, making spreadsheets.
– Race day rituals? I must have some form of handshake or hi-five with my co-driver before we start and once we finish. I also always carry a small item that was given to me by one of the top drivers at my second national rally… For a long time I didn’t realize I was rallying with it, but after doing almost all of my events with it, it’s gotta stick around! I’m impressed that it hasn’t been lost
– In the future, you’ll find me… I would LOVE to do some rallying in New Zealand. They have the most gorgeous, highly-cambered stage roads.