Su­per Ste­van is the Gran master

Racer seals ti­tle with 88-year-old Fay cheer­ing him on

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Ruther­glen mo­tor­ing race ace Ste­van McAleer has scooped the big­gest win of his ca­reer — and he had his granny there to watch him do it.

Thirty- one- year- old Ste­van and CJ Wil­son rac­ing part­ner, Chad McCum­bee, over­came dif­fi­cult driv­ing con­di­tions to win the 2015 IMSA Con­ti­nen­tal Tires Sports Car Chal­lenge.

Af­ter tak­ing the slen­der­est of leads into the last race at an ex­tremely wet Road At­lanta, Ste­van and Chad knew they were un­der pres­sure to get the re­sult but, in the end, an eighth-placed fin­ished proved enough to take the ti­tle by 21 points.

The vic­tory will more than make up for last year when me­chan­i­cal prob­lems in the fi­nal half of the sea­son ru­ined his chances af­ter a fan­tas­tic start.

Ste­van’s mum, dad and four broth­ers were in the stands cheer­ing him, along with his 88-year-old gran, Fay, who had made the trip over the At­lantic to see him in ac­tion.

Speak­ing from his home in Amer­ica ,de­lighted Ste­van told the Re­former: “Just be­cause of the dis­tance and cost of tick­ets, they can’t come too much of the rac­ing, so this makes up for the past three years.

“They couldn’t have come at a bet­ter time.

“The last race was tough but we knew where we stood in points, so it was sur­vival more than any­thing else.

“I came on the ra­dio and asked af­ter we crossed the line in eighth, ‘hey, so is that enough?’

“An­dris, my team owner of CJ Wil­son rac­ing said:’ Yeah buddy it is, we did it’. I screamed and shouted the en­tire way back to pit lane.”

Ste­van, who also runs his own team along­side Chad, added: “We couldn’t have done this with­out ModS­pace Mo­tor­sports, Mazda, CJ Wil­son Rac­ing, Premier Build­ing Sys­tems and, of course, the en­tire CJ Wil­son Rac­ing Team.”

Ste­van and Chad ended the sea­son with 264 points from the 10 races.

That in­cluded two wins, at Watkins Glen and Lime Rock

To celebrate his stun­ning track suc­cess, for­mer Stonelaw High pupil Ste­van joined 17 other CJ Wil­son team mem­bers at the end-of-sea­son ban­quet.

But his thoughts will soon turn to next sea­son, and he ad­mits he still isn’t clear on what he’ll be do­ing.

He said: “Plans wise, I am still un­sure.

“I think at the very least, we will run ST class again and Mx5 Cup pro­gram with ModS­pace.

“I do think there is some other stuff in the works.”

And when asked if win­ning the cham­pi­onship this year was his great­est achieve­ment, Ste­van replied: “Yes, this is my big­gest mo­ment, for sure.”

Cham­pion Ste­van McAleer

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