Nicolas Kiesa is a Danish former racing driver who recorded five starts in the Formula One World Championship in 2003, driving for Minardi. He ended a career at the end of 2006, after spending a part of the season in the DTM, participating at Le Mans 24 Hours and scoring a podium at Sebring 12 Hours.
British Formula Ford early in a career
Born in March 1978, Kiesa spent teenage years in karting competitions, reaching a peak in 1996 when he finished second in the World Championship. He progressed to car racing in 1998, entering the British Formula Ford Championship. In 1999, driving for Haywood Racing, he won seven races and became the Formula Ford champion.
The next step on Kiesa's path to Formula 1 was the British Formula 3 Championship in 2000. Driving for RC Motorsport, he was a race winner once to finish sixth in the points. In 2001, he competed both in the British and German F3 championships, scoring no wins or podiums.
Formula 3000 victory at the streets of Monte-Carlo
In 2002, Kiesa stepped into the International Formula 3000 Championship. Driving for PSM Racing Line team, he was in the points just two times, finishing 12th in the final standings.
In 2003, Kiesa improved his performance in F3000, driving for the Danish Den Blå Avis outfit. He won a race at the streets of Monte-Carlo. In the next race, at Nurburgring, he finished third. Kiesa stayed in Formula 3000 for two more rounds and then he was invited to join Minardi in Formula One.
Nicolas Kiesa was driving the #18 Minardi PS03 in five F1 Grand Prix races
Five Formula 1 starts with Minardi
The Minardi F1 Team hired Kiesa as a replacement for Justin Wilson who left the team and joined Jaguar in the middle of the season. The other Minardi driver was Jos Verstappen.
Kiesa made his debut in the #18 Minardi PS03-Cosworth in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring, finishing in 12th place. Kiesa made four more starts with Minardi. He didn't score points although he finished all four races – Hungarian GP (13th), Italian GP (12th), US Grand Prix (11th) and Japanese GP (16th).
In 2005, Kiesa was working for Jordan Grand Prix as a test driver
Test driver for Jordan Grand Prix in 2005
Kiesa was released from Minardi in 2004 and he spent a year out of racing, participating only as a guest driver in one round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia. In 2005, Kiesa returned to Formula One as a test driver for Jordan Grand Prix.
Starting with a 12th round in Germany, he participated in test sessions during Grand Prix weekends at seven Grand Prix events, driving a Toyota-powered Jordan EJ15 (or EJ15B).
The #007 Aston Martin was Kiesa's car at 2006 Sebring 12 Hours
2006 - GT1 class podium at Sebring 12h, debut at Le Mans 24h
In 2006, Kiesa was again out of Formula One, spending a year in sports car competitions but also recording three starts in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM). His first race in 2006 was the Sebring 12 Hours. He was sharing the #007 Aston Martin DBR9 with Darren Turner and Tomaš Enge, finishing in the sixth place overall and third in GT1 class.
In April, he joined Lister Storm Racing to drive the #6 Lister Storm LMP Hybrid at Istanbul 1000 Kilometers, a round of the Le Mans Series. He was sharing a car with Justin Keen and Jens Reno Moller. They finished third. In May, Kiesa and Moller recorded DNF at Spa 1000 Kilometers and then came to Circuit de la Sarthe. In his debut at Le Mans 24 Hours, Kiesa was sharing a Lister LMP1 prototype with Jens Moller and Gavin Pickering, retiring after 192 laps.
Nicolas Kiesa was driving an Audi for Futurecom TME in 2006 DTM season
Three DTM starts with Audi
In August 2006, Kiesa made a debut in DTM, driving the #19 Audi A4 for Futurecom TME at Nürburgring. He finished 17th. In the next race, at Zandvoort, he was 16th. His last DTM start was in Barcelona in September. Kiesa didn't finish that race.
After that, he was injured in a motocross accident and missed the last two DTM rounds, being replaced by Thed Björk. It was, in a fact, the end of Kiesa's racing career. He eventually appeared in some competitions, such were Seat Leon Supercopa or Danish Endurance Championship, but he never again raced on a full schedule.
TV commentator and driving instructor
In his post-race career, Kiesa was working as a TV commentator and expert for F1. He is also a driving instructor with Porsche and Lamborghini cars. Kiesa also works as a motivational speaker and lecturer.