The tar­mac queen

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­press.co.za

Stacey-Lee May is of­ten asked to prove that she is in­deed a grown woman of 20 be­fore she gets on to the spin track. The dare­devil car-spin­ner from El­do­rado Park looks like she’s about 12. May is known for her “sui­cide slide” stunt, dur­ing which she hangs up­side down out of the win­dow of her pink gusheshe while it is spin­ning.

The stunt, be­side her be­ing one of a few women in a ma­cho sport, makes her unique from other car-spin­ners.

“Also, my pink BMW and be­cause I am so small-built and girly. I love pink, do­ing my hair, my nails and I am soft-spo­ken,” May says.

The third-year Unisa law stu­dent started spin­ning dur­ing her matric year in 2015. Her dream was to be­come a rac­ing driver, but it was too costly for some­body with her poor back­ground. “So, I took up the poor man’s sport,” May says.

May was taught spin­ning by her dad Lester’s friend, Austin Staalmester, in his BMW. Since then, she has been trav­el­ling around the coun­try and fur­ther afield to Swazi­land and Namibia to show­case her skills.

May has caught the at­ten­tion of in­ter­na­tional news chan­nels such as Vice UK and a Ger­man TV sta­tion that have pro­filed her be­cause of her ex­ploits, and she was also fea­tured in a Cell C ad­ver­tise­ment and sev­eral mu­sic videos.

“I was the only woman who made it into the top 16 for Volk­swa­gen driv­ers and I got to be on The Grand Tour with [UK mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ist] Jeremy Clark­son. Mad Mike, the Red­bull drift king, came to watch me spin. I’ve done some amaz­ing things that I would never have dreamt about,” May says.

These days, May’s mum, Lizel, is no longer so ter­ri­fied and her fam­ily is her sup­port sys­tem.

The sport has, how­ever, been as­so­ci­ated with gang­ster­ism. “Well, I look noth­ing like a gang­ster. I’m cute. When peo­ple see me and my fel­low fe­male spin­ners they start loving the sport,” says May.

She hopes that sponsors will come on board to make car-spin­ning pro­fes­sional.

For now, she is glad that she has be­come a house­hold name in El­do­rado Park and be­yond, un­like the days when com­mu­nity mem­bers would call the cops when she started spin­ning.

“When I start my car now they come and ask how I’m do­ing and tell me how proud they are,” she says.

May plans to spin over­seas and board a plane for the first time.

PHO­TOS: ZARA JULIUS

SPIN­STER Stacey-Lee May from El­do­rado Park, south­ern Jo­han­nes­burg, do­ing her thing in her pink BMW

CHEAT­ING DEATH Stacey-Lee May per­form­ing her ‘sui­cide slide’ stunt

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