The tarmac queen
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.
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