Behind The Wheel - #7 - Brandi Pierce
When you hear the words “Mercedes-Benz” and “racing” you may think of Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 racecars. You more than likely aren’t imagining a daily-driven convertible C63 AMG on Weld Wheels piloted by a woman running 11’s. Brandi Pierce is 42, married, and has a 12-year-old son, she currently resides in a smalltown outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Brandi owns a small trucking company and prides herself in “doing all the things the boys do”, in order to enjoy quality time with her son and husband, alongside with spending the rest of her time running her business.
Brandi got involved in the automotive industry after going to a car show with her family. “I had a Durango and put it in a car show and got a top 15 award. It sparked my interest, and we went from there”, she told me. Brandi tried out plenty of cars trying to find her niche, even trying a Camaro. She was in the market for a convertible and eventually ran across a 2018 C63 AMG and knew it was destined to be hers. Her husband told her she should take it down the track and the rest was history. “I ran an 11-something, everyone was shocked that a Mercedes did that its first time out, and even more shocked there was a female behind the wheel”, Brandi told me.
Since her first time down the track, Brandi has competed in a few Streetcar Takeover and local events. She has also competed in both the Indianapolis and Atlanta Women & Wheels class as well, placing in the final 3 in both events due to a rain-out at one track and oil-down/ curfew at the other. “I’ve been building the car for about a year, but this if the first year I got serious about being in a controlled racing environment”, she told me. The build so far has included upgrading the turbos, transmission, and fuel system on her Mercedes-Benz. Brandi is hoping to eventually send the Mercedes off and pick it back up as a 9.5 second car.
Aside from her daily-driver, Brandi also has another project, a 2018 Scat Pack Charger. The charger has a 6.4 that she is hoping to eventually tear apart to go low 8’s in. The goal for her Charger is forged internals and forced induction, “I’m not sure about a Whipple or a Procharger yet, but I’m going to keep that a secret for a little bit. It probably won’t be out until next season or the one after that.”, Brandi says. Although Brandi has competed in several races this year, she reflects on what it’s like competing in an event, “It’s always nerve wracking and my palms are sweating”, but she finds peace in knowing her husband and her son are her number one supporters on and off the track.
At previous Streetcar Takeover events Brandi had competed in, there were no women’s classes. In Indianapolis, she went to sign up for another class and heard about the Women & Wheels class and decided to sign up for it. “Meeting Sophie and her team was inspiring because I really like what she’s doing”, she said. Brandi told me about her role model, “Lynn Doster, she’s the VP of operations of a large trucking company and that’s really rare. She inspired me into the trucking industry and she’s killing it in a leadership role. Any female leader is inspiring though, I’m all about empowering females”.
As always, I asked Brandi what she thinks Women & Wheels has done for ladies in this industry, “I think it’s given normal women an outlet. It’s not always easy, sometimes you’re discredited because you’re a woman, so I think it gives women who wouldn’t normally race an opportunity to do it, and do it well”, she says. Brandi would give ladies the advice of, “Just do it, get in, line up, make your mistakes. Do it over and over again until you’re the best. There’s no judgement when you’re out there with other women who have been through the same thing and same scrutiny”. Brandi goes to show how far you can come in just a year of racing and how much fun you can have being involved.
You can find Brandi on IG @l8yboss.