Roar Before the Rolex 24: Continental Tire Challenge Recap
Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Year, New Stevan McAleer

One of the drivers who, perhaps, has seen the most change this offseason is Stevan McAleer.

As one of the veterans in the Continental Tire Challenge paddock, McAleer contested the past four ST seasons with Chad McCumbee in a Mazda MX-5. The duo ran under CJ Wilson Racing’s banner in 2014 and 2015, before hopping over to Freedom Autosport the past two seasons.

For 2018, however, the Scotland native and McCumbee have parted ways, with McAleer now set to compete with Bodymotion Racing in the GS class in a Porsche Cayman GT4. McCumbee won’t be far away though, as he snagged a GS ride with Multimatic Motorsports in a Ford Mustang GT4.

“I’ve been four years with Chad in the Mazda, so there’s certainly a little bit of tears going separate directions with him,” said McAleer. “This opportunity came up with Joe (Robillard, co-driver) and with Bodymotion and I’m going to be honest, I’m having so much fun out there.”

With a new team, a new car and in a new class, McAleer is the first to acknowledge that the Roar Before the Rolex 24 this weekend was a learning experience for him and the Bodymotion group, as Robillard will be making his series debut later this month in the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway. McAleer’s history as a driving coach is helping ease the transition.

“Really this weekend for me is working with Joe,” said McAleer. “He’s done a lot of Radical Cup stuff, he’s a member at Monticello (Motor Club, where McAleer coaches), but he doesn’t have a huge amount of experience and I know this is a big series for him. For me, it’s get in, get the car warmed up, put a lap that he can chase and drive the car. But every time I get in it, I’m smiling from ear to ear. It’s a lot of fun out there passing the cars in the banking.”

Despite the changes, McAleer feels Bodymotion Racing has a solid team to contest the championship this year, even though the field is stacked with talent.

“I’m working with the team as much as I can on the data,” said McAleer. “I actually think we have a good package in terms of engineers and the crew guys. I think we’re going to be really competitive. With it being as tough as it is in the GS class, it’s probably a year of no mistakes. I think there’s going to be a lot of accidents, a lot of people going off the racetrack, a lot of people breaking down.

“(There’s) a lot of variables, a lot of excitement. I want to win races as much as I’ve done in the past, but this may be a learning year for us and just getting him comfortable. We’ll see what happens going forward.”