Record updated 31-Jan-08
A professional downhill ski racer Kat was sidelined with a knee injury in 1980. She turned to racing and worked her way up to racing for the Factory Corvette and Pontiac Teams. She became the first woman to race in a NASCAR BUSCH Grand National North series event. She retired in 1998 and has since 2006 been fighting a battle with terminal illness.
Kathryn Teasdale epitomizes the drive and competitiveness of Canadian athletes on the international stage. When a knee injury in 1980 sidelined “Kat’s” career as a downhill ski racer she refused to slow down and focused her drive to win on auto racing. Kat retired from professional driving in 1998 after being pro for 14 years.
Starting at the grass roots level in Formula Ford 2000 Kat worked her way up to racing for the Factory Corvette and Pontiac Teams internationally in IMSA & World Challenge, culminating with her becoming the only woman ever to race, or qualify, in a NASCAR BUSCH Grand National North series event, and then one of eight in NASCAR BGN (the triple A to NASCAR Winston Cup). She also raced in Indy Lights and Formula Atlantic Championship. From her start, living at tracks each race weekend, life on the circuit, corporate promotions, endorsements & speaking engagements, moving up to the best-of-the-best in each series, Kathryn Teasdale truly exemplifies an athlete who’s tenacity worked with their talent to take them to the top.
“When we raced, my team and I, it was at 150 plus miles an hour, usually in 90 degree plus temperatures, for hours on end, every weekend of every year except Mothers Day and Easter. It’s a moving game of chess where you never get to hit the bell and take a break. Nowhere is the importance of each member of the team crystallized and focused in such a short period of time than in professional auto racing. Driver, spotter, mechanic or tire-changer all have the opportunity to directly hold victory in palm of their hand. When we win, we win together, and when we weren’t first we learned to be the best for the next race. Every race, every test session we’d back-up our results with improvement. As in all sports, and the business of sport, you have to wake up each day and back up your strengths, and shore-up any weakness. If you don’t, someone else will and you’ve lost your place”
In addition to driving for others Kat has also owned her own race team. She was victorious in many series of the sport 170 plus times, claiming various championships, track records, sport and peer awards. She is an avid golfer, Junior Champion, with memberships at two clubs (her father past president of the R.C.G.A. and member of the R & A, Worden Teasdale, and Uncle Al Balding past of the PGA Tour; currently Seniors tour), avid horsewoman since age 4 and skis when time allows with family and friends primarily at Horseshoe Heights Resort. After a decade plus of life on the road “and having better luggage than couches”, she adores ‘home’. Occasionally Kat returns to Charlotte, North Carolina where she lived, worked and breathed her sport, and ventures to the Foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains to climb with bobcats and walk with the deer. Kat’s ‘hobby’ has been real estate since age 18; “if there’s a path off the dirt road off the side road …. I’ve been down it looking for that ‘special’ place”.
Kathryn Teasdale has worked with many Fortune Top 50 corporations throughout her motorsport and business life. She has been a spokesperson, television personality and keynote speaker for General Motors (Chevrolet, Corvette and Pontiac Divisions), IGA, Coca-Cola, Molson Breweries, Bridgestone/Firestone, Methanex, Gordon Capital, etc.
Kathryn has been involved since age ten with The Easter Seal Society, Christian Children’s Fund and SPCA. As an adult Kat supports diligently The Lung Association, Canadian Cancer Society, C.A.R.D., Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Canadian Special Olympics, and local community services such as men’s and women’s shelters.
Through her travels in life Kathryn’s network is vast and solid which aids in facilitating one of her main assets; that of bringing together people to have endeavors done solely in top shelf manner. “From California, to South Carolina, British Columbia to P.E.I. there is not a Province or State in which I don’t have a ally.”
There are many attributes Kathryn brings to business. “There are two of many wonderful expressions I have woven into the fabric of my acumen ‘The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there … we all know ‘that’ poster; the implication being he climbed his way too the top; well, he may just have taken his helicopter’. And, ‘Don’t go mountain climbing when you’re trying to get over a molehill’."
Is there anything that concerns her? “I have to be wary of curiosity, after all …..”
Since 2006 Kat has been facing a new challenge, one we wish her every success with, dealing with a terminal illness. She is currently bedridden and on an IV. Her goal is just trying to stay alive. Should you wish to email her her address is KatTeasdale@aol.com