Supreme Spin Queen — Stacey May
By Naliaka Wafula,
When Xtreme Outdoors Africa first met Stacey Lee May, she was already a force to be reckoned with amongst stunt drivers. Driving a distinctive pink BMW 325i —a model known as Gasheshe in street slang— Stacey has become a firm fan favourite due to her spinning stunts which include hanging out of the car, and having the edges of her ponytail graze the tarmac.
Soft spoken and petite she may look like just any other 19 year old. Her innocent demeanour belies the fact that she is the only female spin competitor in her category. Drawn to the sport when her uncle brought an old BMW, Stacey was hooked and has never looked back.
“I started spinning in March 2014, my dad’s friend came to our house with a black 325 Cabriolet, my father asked me ‘ can you drive this car? and I was like I don’t think so, he was like let me tell you what to do and then you show me if you can do it.”
Stacey’s dad then took her to the Eldorado car park and showed her how to drive. She has been spinning ever since and cuts a unique figure as one of the few female drivers.
“In my community spinning doesn’t happen a lot with girls my age it’s mostly guys my father’s age that do spinning. It’s a hobby in South Africa, it’s basically drifting but not in an oval track but in an arena, the size of a car park we go in donuts, figure eights, it’s basically just moving with your car sideways.” The extreme sport, which once went hand in hand with the city’s gangsters culture has evolved to become a sport that youth, in the Eldorado Park neighbourhood of Johannesburg, are embracing with gusto. For Stacey, though, spinning is more than just an occasional thrill.
“I’m spinning to make a difference, to change the way young people see the world, people think that this is only for men, drag racing is only for men, car spinning is only for men, I want to show that I can also do it, a woman can also do what you are doing” said May. Winning a slew of awards, May has managed to prove just that.