Moving Up To Continental Challenge Racing At Daytona - SHAKEDOWN


Uploaded by drive on 11.01.2013

Transcript:

LEO PARENTE: Today on "Shakedown," the auto racing
show on Drive, we talk about how a racer gets into racing.
The questions you viewers always seem to
ask, how do I start?
How do I forge a pro racing career?
But we're not going to listen to me.
I have in the studio a young racer, Stevan McAleer.
Stevan is the 2012 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup champion.
He races with C. J. Wilson Racing.
You may recall C. J. Was on an earlier "Shakedown." And I've
got the link below to that show.
But C. J. is quite a cool race team owner looking to make a
mark in his sport.
And you may recall having seen Stevan before on "Fast Lane
Daily" in his role as chief instructor and competition
manager at the Grand Prix New York indoor karting track
where he coached up Derek De on how to go fast.
Stephen McAleer is 28.
He's been racing since 1997.
What's that?
11 or 12 years old?
He started in karts, open wheel cars.
He raced a formula BMW for Kimi Raikkonen's team.
And now, he's in sports cars with Mazda.
He's raced in one and now pulled himself up to a career
making spot.
In 2013, Stevan McAleer is going to race a full season of
GRAND-AM Continental Sports Car Challenge in a C. J.
Wilson ST class Mazda MX-5.
He's Scottish which means he's great in the rain, drives
angry doing whatever it takes to win, and will tell you
about it whether you ask him or not but in some
indecipherable Scottish brogue that only Sean Connery, Mike
Myers, or the cast of "Braveheart" can comprehend.
When we come back, we'll talk with Stevan about what it
takes to create a racing career and what goes on behind
the wheel to make it all pay off once you get your
ass in a race car.
Oh, and let me explain.
This is not the start of the 2013 Shakedown season.
2013 plans for Shakedown are not finalized.
When we have a deal, you'll be the next first to know.
And when we come back, Stevan McAleer, the fourth Scot I've
interviewed.
McNish, Stewart, Dario, and now, well, fifth, there was
this bonny lass at the bar last night.

Soft launch or not, this is how we should start the 2013
calendar year with a Shakedown University.
But not me preaching, someone who can really coach us up on
forging a racing career and what it takes in the car to
get the job done.
Stevan McAleer, our 2012 champion, is here.
Thank you.
STEVAN MCALEER: Hey, there.
How are you doing?
LEO PARENTE: Thank you.
You're going to be the one who is going to tell us what's
really going on.
And you just got back from Daytona testing.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep.
LEO PARENTE: You championship bastard you.
What was that like?
What was Daytona like?
STEVAN MCALEER: Daytona was great fun.
It's obviously a track that you think NASCAR is associated
with, big, obviously, high speed oval.
And it was pretty exciting to go out in the MX-5.
We're in a different class now, so we have a ST car
racing with GS.
GS is a faster car.
And, obviously, now we're looking into matters for
faster cars coming up.
And the banking, kind of, takes away some of your sight
out the back window.
So you look in the mirror and no one's there.
No one's there and then all of a sudden there's a Mustang
coming at 170 miles per hour.
LEO PARENTE: And you're no slouch.
You're doing about 140, 140 and change.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, we're seeing over 140 in the MX-5.
LEO PARENTE: And I guarantee you, everyone wants to know
the first part of it, the obvious part of it, the
banking, what's that like?
And it's different than the video game or videos you see.
What did that feel like?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, it definitely gave me a different
aspect of NASCAR.
Like the first lap I went out and, kind of,
started leaning over.
I went all the way to the one side.
LEO PARENTE: And you can feel it, right?
STEVAN MCALEER: And you can feel it.
Actually once you've got up to speed, you can actually feel
the compression pushing you against the seat.
So when we came around the next lap, I went all the way
up top like--
LEO PARENTE: Richard Petty.
STEVAN MCALEER: Jimmie Johnson or one of these guys.
LEO PARENTE: I'm showing my age.
STEVAN MCALEER: Just to see what it was like.
And it's pretty high up there.
It's pretty fun.
Obviously, the lap was terrible.
I shouldn't have been doing that in the first place.
But yeah, in terms of video games, the banking, you
obviously don't get that feeling.
LEO PARENTE: You mentioned the compression.
Is there, even in the Mazda, is there a sensitive part of
the corner?
Is it entry?
Is it exit?
Where?
STEVAN MCALEER: I think if you had a faster car, I think if
you're close to what the, I think the issue would be
coming off the corner.
Because now you lose the banking.
With us, it was pretty straightforward.
We were full speed and the car was pretty
solid through there.
LEO PARENTE: You're in the banking, whether you're center
track or whatever, if you look out the window you're looking
down at the car?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, you can actually see the road like on
the left hand side.
Yep.
And it's funny because at one of the points, we need to do a
shift from fourth to fifth gear.
And you've obviously harried the
fourth to third by accident.
So making very sure that it was going to fifth gear like a
little extra time, first time in the car.
Because you've seen some of these NASCAR accidents on the
bank and it's pretty exciting.
LEO PARENTE: Now, the MX-5 you're racing in GRAND-AM is
different than the Cup car but not all that different.
Some of the skills are transferable.
But what is different about this car?
STEVAN MCALEER: So the car's obviously got more power.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
STEVAN MCALEER: And the tires are a lot wider.
So basically overall, it's a faster all around car.
It's got more grip, more braking ability,
and faster top speed.
But at the end of the day, the car's still the same platform
so the driving technique is very similar.
LEO PARENTE: And there's enough infield that this car
can come into its own a little bit here.
STEVAN MCALEER: Daytona's the toughest track for us on the
schedule for the reason is, it's just so fast.
So with the MX-5, we're probably one of the best if
not the best car under braking and cornering speed.
But we lose a lot of straight line speed to some of the
other cars.
So the banking hurts us a little more.
We absolutely will gain some time through the twisty parts.
But there's a twisty part and then a straight, and then a
twisty part and a straight.
So we're probably going to be two and a half to three
seconds off the pace of the front running group here.
But once we go to tracks like Lime Rock and Barber
Motorsports Park, it literally should be a turn of the table.
We should be a second and a half quicker.
LEO PARENTE: And even though you're at Daytona during the
24 weekend, your race is something shorter.
It's still?
STEVAN MCALEER: It's a two and a half hour race.
I've got a teammate, Mark Miller.
Super, great guy.
He was my MX-5 coach this year.
And I chose him.
He's unbelievably fast.
And he's been in the series, he knows what it's about.
And he's very talented, and seems to always bring the car
back in one piece.
LEO PARENTE: And you've got 60 plus cars
on the track probably?
STEVAN MCALEER: 85.
LEO PARENTE: 85?
STEVAN MCALEER: 85 cars.
LEO PARENTE: Good.
So it may not just be raw speed to get this job done.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, no it's about strategy and it's about
making sure your pit stops are good.
And at the end, making sure the car doesn't
come back with damage.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So Daytona the championship got you there.
But let's go all the way back to the start of your career.
What was the experience in your life that
got you into racing?
STEVAN MCALEER: Well, obviously, my dad was very
interested in racing.
LEO PARENTE: I didn't know, go ahead.
STEVAN MCALEER: He did a lot of sprints and hillclimbs.
LEO PARENTE: Now, this is not in the US?
STEVAN MCALEER: This is in Scotland.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
STEVAN MCALEER: So we're going back probably
22 years ago now.
But there was always an interest in cars.
We always used to go to the go kart track.
Any time I had a birthday party, I would go to the go
kart track and try and smoke all my friends.
And we ended up going to a go kart track one day
back in a Loch Hall.
And I never realized there was outdoor karts, and I never
realized that they went at 60, 70, 80 miles an hour.
So that was me hooked from the moment I saw that.
And he basically told me, OK, if your exam results are good,
we'll think about buying you one.
So mine went from atrocious to OK.
And that seemed like a logical step to get me a go kart.
And it took off from there.
LEO PARENTE: So you, and if I get this wrong I apologize,
but so you competed in Formula TKM?
STEVAN MCALEER: Formula TKM.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So what was that all about?
Those are serious cars.
STEVAN MCALEER: Serious cars.
They were 100cc.
And what was good about those cars was if you made a mistake
and spun out of control, the engine would stall.
In the cars they have nowadays, like the Rotax that
they run based on the new series, those cars you spin
and you can keep going.
Now, obviously, you lose a bunch of places.
The problem was when I was younger, if I spun out of
control, as you can see the size of me in the picture
here, there was no way I could pick the go kart up and push
it and try and jump back in again.
So it taught me that finishing well is always important, not
necessarily to go and win the race.
You want to make sure the finishes are consistent.
LEO PARENTE: So I made a joke in the intro.
It was a joke.
And I was thinking of McNish and the way
sometimes he drives.
What was your driving style?
How did you become, what type of racer were you?
STEVAN MCALEER: I was the most aggressive driver you've ever
seen in your life.
LEO PARENTE: So I'm right, you Scots, you.
STEVAN MCALEER: I would actually try and pull the
steering column out through the go kart.
And my dad used to get pretty angry with me.
And say, this is not how you drive the go kart.
This is a joke.
And to be fair, we were nowhere for the first year and
a half, two years of the karting career.
LEO PARENTE: No one understands that you can have
natural talent out the wazoo, but it has to be developed.
STEVAN MCALEER: Absolutely.
LEO PARENTE: You don't just pop in and be a brilliant,
genius right away.
STEVAN MCALEER: Absolutely.
You hear some stories of kids jumping in.
But at the end of the day, you need experience as well.
And the kids that pick up on it easily usually end up going
down the way rather than up the way.
LEO PARENTE: You ended up going through the karting
classes and then there was some Grand Prix competition?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, there's a scholarship called the Grand
Prix Shootout which was going back now
probably 7, 8 years ago.
And, in fact, it might have been less than that.
And it was a scholarship to develop a driver possibly to
get them into the Formula One stages.
So the first round, we drove a Fiat 500 race car where we're
taken around with the instructors and a lot a fast
drivers with a lot of names you know of.
Gabby Chaves was there, Connor De Phillippi,
a lot of good guys.
So I ended up making the final.
I made the final and then we managed to test the Formula
BMW for Raikkonen Robertson Racing at Pembrey.
It was pouring with rain.
Unfortunately, I didn't have an advantage of that time
because everyone was from the UK that made the final.
And we put in a really good performance and unlucky that
we never go at someone.
They gave it to someone else which is fine.
It gave me some more adrenalin to keep pushing.
LEO PARENTE: So there are two things you mentioned
and let's go back.
And not to turn this into a psychotherapy session, but
talk to me or share the sense of commitment.
So you wanted to be a car driver.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep.
LEO PARENTE: Everyone wants to be something.
But talk to me about the commitment it really took and
what was going on.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah.
LEO PARENTE: Even you as a little kid.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, it really took a lot of
commitment.
I think when I was younger, it didn't really come across as I
thought my dad would pay for it.
As I'm sure every other thinks.
He'll pay for it, it's fine.
And then, it got to the point where we weren't getting new
tires for every weekend, we were always at a disadvantage
compared to some of the other teams.
And he kept telling me, you have to show me
that you want this.
He said, I'll continue funding as much as I can.
And then, it got to the point where it was just becoming
ridiculous.
The numbers were ridiculous.
And he showed me one day.
And he showed me this is what it's going to cost me to run
you for the weekend.
I was like, oh OK.
So that was a changing thought.
And, inevitably, we ran out of money mid season one of the
years we were doing the British Karting Championships.
We did a half season.
And that was literally like a dead stop.
It was they carried it up until then and it was like
after one weekend, we're just going to cut you off.
So I tried everything I could.
Tried to talk to some people to see if there was some
sponsorship available.
And we were lucky enough to see an ad the paper for
bearacingdriver.com which was a
scholarship run by Tim Sugden.
And their first place prize was a season
in Skip Barber Regional.
And we were lucky enough to win it.
LEO PARENTE: Now, this was here in US now or back in
Scotland still?
STEVAN MCALEER: The scholarship was in the UK.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
UK.
STEVAN MCALEER: The scholarship was in the UK.
That was in 2005.
It's a really cool scholarship.
The prize was a British Renault Clio Championship for
the winner.
And I believe that the kid that won it the year before me
cost more damage than the actual season cost alone.
So they decided to pull out of that mid season.
And we ended up getting moved over to the Skip Barber
Regional Championships which I opt to be pressed on knew
nothing about.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah.
STEVAN MCALEER: But it got us where we are right now.
So I'm happy that it changed.
LEO PARENTE: So not to put words in your mouth, the
commitment part is just this tenacity to keep pushing
looking for opportunities?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah.
I mean, there's a lot of kids I used to race with in
Scotland that are phenomenal drivers.
And there's very few that still race if any at all.
And it's one of those things that I just didn't want to be
sitting in an office in 22 years time thinking what if,
when you see somebody's name pop up that you
used to race with.
LEO PARENTE: So the other part that I had to go back to is,
so you raced for Kimi Raikkonen?
STEVAN MCALEER: I don't know if he showed his
face at the team much.
But right, it was Raikkonen Robertson Racing.
Probably the best Formula BMW team in the series.
And that was a phenomenal car.
It was a pretty exciting car to drive.
LEO PARENTE: So then you came over to the States, family
came over to the States?
How did that all happen?
STEVAN MCALEER: Just me.
LEO PARENTE: Just you?
STEVAN MCALEER: Just me.
I was flying back and forward from 2006 onward.
So it's been five, six years.
And then I made a full time commitment in March, 2009.
So I've been here for four years.
LEO PARENTE: So when you hit the ground here in the US,
what happened next to get your career launched?
STEVAN MCALEER: Well, I wanted to make sure I came over here
on the right visa.
So I got a visa to work at the indoor facility at
Grand Prix, New York.
And they gave me a three year visa.
And they allowed me to go and do my own racing which was the
Skip Barber stuff.
And I think the most weird part of that was just buying a
one way ticket to come over and seeing the
family at the airport.
It didn't really hit me until the following trip when I went
back home to visit them.
I was like well, I'm pretty homesick here.
This is a pretty rough.
So yeah, I mean, I just come over here.
And my old manager Tim Sugden said, listen, just be at the
race weekends, be at shows, let people know who you are.
And when you get the opportunities, make sure you
grab it with both hands.
LEO PARENTE: It seems like one of the opportunities was how
you end up meeting C J. Wilson, C. J. Wilson Racing
which has something to do with maybe a
Thunderhill race last year?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, we did the 25 Hour.
LEO PARENTE: Take us through this.
STEVAN MCALEER: The Thunderhill race last here and
actually the contact with C. J. Came through a good friend
of mine Declan Brennan.
Declan is with Radio Le Mans over here and was with
[INAUDIBLE]
radio back home in the UK.
So he basically did all the interviews when I won the
scholarship back home in the UK.
So I think he put a nice word in to C. J. for me.
And I was planning on going to the Thunderhill event
regardless to go and watch.
And it turned out that there was a seat open and we managed
to sneak in the seat.
And the team was pretty impressed with
the speed we had.
LEO PARENTE: How'd that go?
STEVAN MCALEER: It went great.
We won the E-1 class.
LEO PARENTE: There you go, yeah.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep, we won the E-1 class.
And I thought it was super nice the team actually let me
finish the race.
So I did the last hour and a half.
LEO PARENTE: Cool.
STEVAN MCALEER: And they put their trust in me.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So without airing any laundry, the truth is that got you the
ride in the Cup championship for this year?
STEVAN MCALEER: Kind of.
LEO PARENTE: Kind of?
STEVAN MCALEER: Kind of.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
STEVAN MCALEER: The idea with that was they told me they had
the MX-5 Cup team.
It was going to be their first year under
C. J. Wilson Racing.
And, obviously, it cost X amount to run a season.
And I said, let me see what I can bring.
And I channeled through everybody I possibly know and
managed to make the opener at Sebring which was nice because
we qualified on pole and won the first race.
LEO PARENTE: There you go.
So I remember we had a little conversation at Sebring.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep.
LEO PARENTE: And there was a sense of how do
we make this happen?
And somewhere along the line, without airing any laundry,
the season continued with C. J.
STEVAN MCALEER: Sure.
LEO PARENTE: And take me to the last race.
Because the last race is maybe indicative of, I think, the
style that I've seen from you.
All you had to do was take the green flag to win the
championship in the last race.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep.
LEO PARENTE: And now, I'm going to have you connect the
dots and finish the story.
But somewhere in the opening lap or two, you got bumped off
from the front of the grid maybe all
the way back to ninth?
STEVAN MCALEER: This may have been the race at Mid-Ohio.
LEO PARENTE: Was that it?
STEVAN MCALEER: It was the Mid-Ohio race.
So that was round five of the championship.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So now, we're still in the fight.
STEVAN MCALEER: Still in the fight.
LEO PARENTE: Mid-Ohio not the end of the season.
STEVAN MCALEER: Not the end of the season.
LEO PARENTE: So take me through what
then happened next.
STEVAN MCALEER: So we went in for qualifying,
qualified on pole.
It was clear that C. J., obviously, was
producing some good cars.
It was the third pole I had from five races.
But it was close.
There was five or six of us within a couple
of tenths of a second.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah, but without being a smart ass, I checked.
The cars don't really drive themselves.
STEVAN MCALEER: That's true.
The driver has to force it around the track.
So I guess my main rival at the time, John Dean.
LEO PARENTE: Oh, you're going to name him.
OK, good.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep.
My main rival, John Dean.
Hey, John.
We went up into the first corner called the keyhole, and
he just got a little late on the brakes.

I hung on the outside.
I tried to give him as much room as I could, but he had
too much momentum and pushed me off the track.
And I dropped back to 12th place.
LEO PARENTE: OK, so jokes aside.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep.
LEO PARENTE: What was in your head then?
You know you had a championship going on, you
know you're quick enough you're at the front of the
grid, tell the fans, what goes on in your
head at that moment?
You had a couple options.
What did you do?
STEVAN MCALEER: Well, the first thing I thought of was
the car damaged?
And obviously that's a major role that you can be the best
driver in the world and if the cars gets damaged, then you're
going to be sent and parked.
So I was pretty angry on the radio.
I got on with the team and I said I'd been
bumped off the track.
I wanted them to make sure that they were going to look
at it after the race.
And we made a few corners, I wasn't too sure if I had a
flat right tire.
And then, the car started coming back.
I guess there was gravel and grass and stuff on the tire.
So at that point I was like, OK, let's
see this for a comeback.
And it's probably the hardest I've driven all year round to
prove that I could get back at the front.
LEO PARENTE: So you have how many laps in that race?
30?
20?
STEVAN MCALEER: It was a 45 minute race and the laps were
like 140, 145.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So somewhere along the line, if I read the notes right,
about lap 23 of 25 or seven, you find yourself toward the
front or into the front?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, we'd got our way up front.
And I came up behind John.
LEO PARENTE: Oh, God.
STEVAN MCALEER: And it was quite funny.
Because we came through the first corner, and he actually
put his hand up and apologized to me.
And I thought I would give him a wave in return.
And again, it was never a deliberate move.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah, obviously.
STEVAN MCALEER: He was, obviously, as excited as me to
try and lead the race.
But I was taking no prisoners at that time.
I wanted to make sure I could get to the
front and pull away.
And the last three or four laps, I managed to do that.
So that was definitely the most exciting race for me in
terms of you have all your competition out there, they
all pass you at the start, and you get past them all again
and win the race.
That was the turnaround of the season.
LEO PARENTE: Let's stay racing in the car.
And talk to me a little bit about you're in this new car
for the GRAND-AM race.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep.
LEO PARENTE: So how do you go through the shakedown process?
What, frankly, mentally do you do to approach a new car,
frankly, at a new track with Daytona?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah.
And obviously there's very limited time.
I've now got a teammate that needs some time
in the car as well.
So my train of thought now is I've got enough experience
under my belt, I've been driving for 16 years.
And I'm confident in myself that I can
go up to speed quickly.
So I like to push the car.
I do maybe one warm lap.
I can assess where we're going.
And, obviously, we've looked at data and stuff beforehand.
I've looked at a bunch of different in car cameras to
make sure I know where I'm going.
But again, I'm confident that if I maybe over do one of the
corners, I'm comfortable saving the car.
LEO PARENTE: Whether it was Mid-Ohio qualifying, tell me a
little bit, secret if you want, how do
you get a fast lap?
You're at one level, we know we've got to
go plus one or two.
STEVAN MCALEER: Sure.
LEO PARENTE: Where do you look for that speed?
STEVAN MCALEER: Going back to what my dad taught me, be as
smooth as possible.
And I think with the open wheel background I have as
well, you have to be smooth in open wheel.
Sports cars, especially when you're driving slightly
heavier cars, you can absolutely be a little more
aggressive maybe on initial steering and trying
to point the car.
But I've always found every time I drive
smooth I get in my rhythm.
You're less tired because you're putting less effort
into the wheel.
And you know when you're in that rhythm
which is pretty cool.
LEO PARENTE: So you're free to contradict me, but there's a
lot of people who talk about going fast, they have to
really rough up the car and drive it like you stole it,
and really beat on the car.
You're talking about a little more
aggressive with sports cup.
But it's all in relative terms.
You're never really pounding all over this car.
You're still finessing.
STEVAN MCALEER: Right.
You're absolutely finessing.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
STEVAN MCALEER: The cars get such a solid platform that
when you force it through a corner, if you were to take a
picture of the car, it wouldn't look like the car's
leaned over at all.
If you try and do that with a road car, the driver looks
like he's a maniac and he's trying to steal the car.
LEO PARENTE: Let's talk in the general sense.
What is it about racing that you love?
STEVAN MCALEER: I love everything about it.
I love the fact of getting to the track, preparing for going
out on the track, and, obviously, the competition.
I love the competition.
The most exciting thing for me, it's something my dad
always said, drive as fast you can for half an hour or
whatever type of race you're doing and you look in the
mirror and there's still somebody sitting behind you.
And it doesn't mean they're faster.
If they were faster, they wouldn't have sat behind you
for half an hour.
It just means that you guys are going pretty fast.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So I've always maintained there's a difference between
confidence and arrogance.
In the stories you were telling, is there one thing
you would tell a young racer to most importantly focus on
if they really want to be a good racer?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, the idea is, like I said, you can drive
as fast as you can.
Just go out and meet as many people as you can, be at all
the shows, be at all the race weekends, and
make people like you.
Like, make it into your character that they like you.
It's very simple.
If they don't like you, they're never going to help
you, they're never going to give you.
LEO PARENTE: Well, that explains
my career, you bastard.
STEVAN MCALEER: Well, there you go.
LEO PARENTE: There you go, OK.
OK.
And what's the biggest caution to give a young racer?
What would you tell them, coach them up about?
STEVAN MCALEER: Like you said, probably not to have
arrogance on them.
Unless they've got a lot of money backing them, you can be
as arrogant as you want.
I've always thought about that if I win the lottery.
But on a serious note, like they'll be arrogant except
when you finish last or down in the order and take it and
learn from it and come back stronger the next time.
LEO PARENTE: What's the biggest challenge, back in the
car, that you focus on to do the job of winning?
STEVAN MCALEER: The biggest challenge?
Just knowing that I give it my best.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah.
STEVAN MCALEER: I think just knowing that I've tried as
hard as I can.
If I make mistakes then I'll kick myself for about one
corner, and then I'll get back on the job.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So it's Scottish history time.
STEVAN MCALEER: OK.
LEO PARENTE: You know all the Scottish drivers?
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah.
LEO PARENTE: Clark, Stewart, Coulthard, you said I should
pronounce it now.
STEVAN MCALEER: Coulthard.
LEO PARENTE: Coulthard.
STEVAN MCALEER: David Coulthard.
LEO PARENTE: The Franchittis, Colin McRae, Allan McNish.
Who were your role models?
STEVAN MCALEER: I was a Colin McRae fan.
I like Colin McRae.
He was, what did they call him?
He was either comes first or ends up upside down.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah.
STEVAN MCALEER: And, obviously, massive car control
and people forget rallying.
When you make a mistake you usually hit something.
Formula One you make a mistake, you spin.
Some times you come back on track.
And yeah, a big fan of Colin.
LEO PARENTE: So I'm curious of your point of view.
Do you consciously drive aggressively or is it just
your nature?
STEVAN MCALEER: When they say Europeans drive aggressively
it's not in their driving the car.
Like I said, I would like to think I'm one of the smoothest
drivers out there.
But there's an aggression level when I
want to pass people.
My Dad always told me, if you sit behind someone for two
corners then it's one corner too much.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah.
STEVAN MCALEER: So there's no waiting game for me.
Like, I enjoy starting 30th place or 40th place.
Because I love just pecking my way through them.
LEO PARENTE: There you go.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yep.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So those were the Scottish racing drivers.
You know, there's another group of Scots that have
something to do with racing.
No, not the "Braveheart" guys.
Alexander Graham Bell was Scottish, he
invented the phone.
John Boyd Dunlop invented the Dunlop tire company.
John Shepherd-Barron invented the ATM machine.
And Captain Kidd was a pirate, he was Scottish.
What do they have to do with racing?
Ready for this?
Ready for this?
STEVAN MCALEER: Go for it.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So you mentioned earlier, you're on the phone to make
calls for sponsorship, the tire thing is obvious, the ATM
machine is where you get the money, and don't you have to
be a pirate to make this work?
No?
That's bad?
It could have been worse.
It could have been worse.
I got another one.
I could have mentioned Buick.
Did you know that David Buick was Scottish and he invented
the car company?
STEVAN MCALEER: Oh, really?
LEO PARENTE: You want to race a Buick?
STEVAN MCALEER: No, we should, no.
LEO PARENTE: By the way, that's not David Buick.
But you know what?
I'll give you the segue, because segues are for kids.
You had a David Coulthard story.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, I've got a fun
story with David Coulthard.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
Save me.
STEVAN MCALEER: Going back, I don't know, 15 years ago or
so, 13, 14 years old, we were out looking for sponsorship.
I was handwriting sponsorship letters,
trying different places.
And again, I was probably sending it to the secretary.
It was probably getting thrown out at the time.
So part of the plan was, well, why don't we send a message to
David Coulthard?
And we had just been in the local paper, the Rutherglen
Reformer, and there was a nice article on driving.
There was a couple of trophies and stuff.
So my mom said, I'll find out the contact for David and
we'll send it over to him.
So I guess it never clicked for me.
I never really thought what was going on at the time.
And two months down the line, my Mom says, I never heard
back from David Coulthard.
And I said, what do you mean you never heard?
She was like, well, I sent the Reformer article.
And then it clicked.
And I was as like, whoa you sent the Reformer article?
And she went, yeah.
My Mom forgot that at the bottom of it I said my hero
was Michael Schumacher.
So there's your clear answer why David Coulthard never got
back to me.
LEO PARENTE: Was that before or after the alleged fight in
the Paddock?
STEVAN MCALEER: At Belgium?
I don't know.
I can't remember.
It was some time around there.
LEO PARENTE: Classic.
But you know, your Mom did her job.
She got the word out.
STEVAN MCALEER: She did.
Absolutely.
She wanted to help and the same as my Dad.
LEO PARENTE: So let's finish up, a
couple of last questions.
Where do you want this to go?
STEVAN MCALEER: I'm looking now to be like a factory
American Le Mans driver for one of these manufacturers.
Right now we're with Mazda, the Mazdaspeed MX-5.
I'd like to continue that with C. J. Wilson Racing.
I think we've got a good partnership.
I think we've got a good couple years ahead of us.
But I want to see myself in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24
Hours at Daytona.
LEO PARENTE: You mentioned at Daytona, at the test, you
introduced yourself to Allan McNish.
STEVAN MCALEER: Yeah, he was standing behind me in line for
registration.
And we were in there for at least two hours waiting.
And I thought it would be nice to turn around and say hi.
He looked as fed up as I was.
I thought this would be the perfect time for two Scots to
talk to each other.
And yeah, we spoke for 15, 20 minutes.
It was pretty exciting.
LEO PARENTE: So whether he's the answer to this question or
not, so OK, which driver would you love to take a lap with?

STEVAN MCALEER: What I said, Collin McRae.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah.
STEVAN MCALEER: I would have said Collin McRae for sure.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah.
STEVAN MCALEER: And I would like to have a lap round in
one of the Audis with McNish, as well,
would be pretty exciting.
LEO PARENTE: Now, no offense to your affinity to Mazda, you
can mention a category instead of a brand, what's the coolest
race car to you these days?
STEVAN MCALEER: I'd like to see a
Lamborghini do something.
LEO PARENTE: Really?
STEVAN MCALEER: When they used to do the Lamborghini racing
over in Europe, and these guys would just bounce off each
other with these cars is if it was two Mazdas.
It's a pretty exciting race car.
LEO PARENTE: What series, other than the ones you
compete, do you follow?
STEVAN MCALEER: I pretty much follow
everything that's going.
DTM championship, I'm a big of, obviously Formula One was
a dream from 15 years ago.
So I mean anything that's going.
I've got a couple of friends now in Formula One.
I've got a couple friends in Indy car.
LEO PARENTE: Who, who, who?
You can mention names.
STEVAN MCALEER: Paul di Resta.
LEO PARENTE: Sure.
STEVAN MCALEER: Paul di Resta is in there.
And the Indy car series we've got Josef Newgarden.
LEO PARENTE: Yep.
STEVAN MCALEER: We've, obviously, got Conor Daly
testing out there as well now.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah.
STEVAN MCALEER: So pretty cool to see them.
LEO PARENTE: If there's one thing, a last thing to leave
the fans with, if they seriously want
to race, last comment.
STEVAN MCALEER: Just dedication.
Like don't say you're going to do it, actually go and do it.
And if you want it as much as me, you'll not have a dollar
in your pocket all day long and you'll drive a race car.
LEO PARENTE: And you'll still be happy.
STEVAN MCALEER: Still be happy.
LEO PARENTE: Good luck.
STEVAN MCALEER: Thank you very much.
LEO PARENTE: Looking forward to seeing you at
Daytona with the debut.
STEVAN MCALEER: Awesome.
Thank you.
LEO PARENTE: Thanks for spending the time.
STEVAN MCALEER: Thank you.