Racing and Animal Rights: Stephanie Cemo Talks About Her Two Passions.
Stephanie Cemo’s love for Corvettes runs deep. She reminisced, “My love for the Corvette began in 1999 when my brother let me drive his new 1999 FRC... I remember hitting the throttle and my heart sunk. That feeling is an addiction!”
This “addiction” has led Cemo to today, where she is a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) GT2 driver and coach - and she still drives her 2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and purpose built 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 race car. When we interviewed Cemo for this post, she stood by her Corvette roots, and responded that the “ZR1 is my favorite; I will never let that car go. And honestly, I feel it is better than the AMG. It is nimble and well-balanced, and with the supercharger, there is power everywhere in the power band which allows it to be incredibly responsive.”
This year, Cemo will be driving the Prestige Performance/ Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) No. 43 entry for the 2019 Lamborghini Super Trofeo (LST) North American Series. She will be co-driving with Ashton Harrison in LB Cup; this will be both female co-drivers debut in the series.
We had the honor of asking Cemo some questions about women in racing, her furry companion Captain Jack, her animal activism, and her cool car opinions as she was preparing for Super Trofeo.
Here are edited excerpts from our conversation:
What advice do you have for other women who want to join the world of racing?
My advice for women that want to get involved in motorsports is simple: Come to the track with your car and jump in! Last year’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill had a ton of woman drivers ...It was so amazing to be around so many females in race suits. I feel that many women don’t realize they CAN do this.
There are fantastic groups like Accelerating Change, run by Christina Neilson and Paulina Michaels, that are centered around women-only track days. This creates a safe and comforting environment for women to feel more at ease. Not to mention, it provides a bond with other women that want to experience this amazing sport. While I was told some of the ladies were apprehensive, once they got on track, they fell in love. This sport is challenging in a fun and rewarding way. For me, I just showed up to a track event in 2004 at Texas World Speedway; I was hooked and never looked back. The boys shouldn’t be the only ones to have all the fun!
Does Captain Jack accompany you to your many races and events?
Jack goes with me everywhere! He has his spot on the console in the ZR1, GT-R and the dually. However, I feel I need to slowly introduce my new team, Wayne Taylor Racing, to the opportunity they have for him to grace them with his presence. We will see how that goes.
Which animal rights issue is closest to your heart?
I have several animal rights issues that are close to my heart. I’d say the biggest one is the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. I support a wonderful organization, Animal Hope and Wellness that is based in Los Angeles. They’re on the front lines pulling dogs from these horrific conditions.
The other is sport hunting...I just don’t see where the enjoyment is in killing a defenseless animal. You want to show us how big your ego is - go fight it out with your bare hands. In the US, we need to create strict laws that protect animals since they are helpless in so many ways. I just don’t see how others aren’t like me and feel strongly about protecting all animals. It’s part of being a human being, or one that has a heart that is.
In your opinion, what’s the coolest car on the market right now?
Hmmmm … that’s a tough question. I’d say the coolest car on the market now is the Aston Martin Vulcan. What a machine! At 200 MPH, it makes 3,000 pounds of downforce … which is unreal. Close second and third that are a little more tame are the Ferrari F12 TDF and the Ford GT.
From a casual track event in 2004 at Texas World Speedway to driving in the 2019 Lamborghini Super Trofeo (LST) North American Series, Cemo’s journey reminds us of what wonderful realities might await us if we also “just showed up.”
Written by Camren Crose
Stephanie posing with Captain Jack (who hates to have his picture taken!) She's wearing one of our 'Paws for Cause' Cuffs made from a black Lamborghini Gallardo. We inscribed his name on the inside of the cuff.