Gisela Ponce is a Mexican driver who has raced in both NASCAR and touring cars, and now competes in truck racing.
She is from a racing family: her brother Javier is a racing driver, her father (also Javier) raced for many years, and her grandfather was the president of his regional motorsport association.
After several seasons of karting, she took her first steps in senior motorsport in 2009, when she was nineteen. Her first racing season was in the VW Stock 1600 championship, driving an original Beetle. Her first outing ended with a third place at her local track, Aguascalientes. She was fourth overall, and second in the rookie standings.
In 2010, she worked with the Volkswagen team and undertook training with them, then competed in a VW Golf in the regional Aguascalientes Copa RC Racing series. She finished second after a very strong season, and won at least one race.
In 2011, she formed her own family team, and contested the 1600cc Mexican Touring Car Championship. She was third in the final standings, having led for part of the season. This run in a national series was accompanied by more races in the Central Mexican touring car series. She was the champion in the VW Sedan class, and second in the Chevy 1600 class.
Her NASCAR adventures began in 2012, when she entered the Mexican Stock V6 NASCAR series for the first time, driving a Chevrolet for the OAM Ramirez team. Her best finish was fifth, at Mexico City, and she was in the top ten for nine of the twelve races. Her finishes gradually improved over the season; her best result was in the last round. She was seventh overall.
As well as NASCAR, she found time for some Mexican touring car races, in another Chevrolet. She scored one podium in the 1800cc Mexican Touring Car Championship, and was seventh overall.
For 2013, she had a lighter schedule, with only a couple of guest slots in NASCAR. This would become a pattern in her career: a strong year followed by one where she was less active, due to a lack of sponsorship. She only got to her local Aguascalientes rounds, but earned a pair of fourth places.
It was back to business in 2014, with a few races in NASCAR, yielding a fifth and eighth place, at Aguascalientes again. She raced for her family team in the Super Touring 1 Light series, in which she was back on form, finishing fourth.
In 2015, she made a move into truck racing, in the Campeonato Tractocamiones Freightliner. She was fifth overall, having been in contention for a championship win until quite late in the year. This was in addition to a season in the Mexican Super Touring 3 series, where she was sixth, with one podium place. Her car may have been a Chevrolet.
Most of 2016 was spent truck racing, in a Freightliner. She did not do quite as well as in 2015, despite running a full season, but was still ninth overall. Late in the year, she made a guest appearance in the Mexican V6 Series, and was eighth at Mexico City.
A limited season in Trucks followed in 2017. She made guest appearances in the Mikels Trucks and Freightliner one-make series, scoring one seventh place in the latter. She did not finish her Mikels Trucks race at Monterrey.
She also participated in the 24 Hours of Mexico, an endurance race for saloon cars held at Amozoc Puebla. This was her second attempt at the race.
Gisela also competes in triathlon.
(Image from eaglentsracing.com)