ERE’s a saying: “Behind every good man there is a good woman”.
That should change in Michael Stephen’s case to: “Behind every good man there is a good woman and a good baby”.
Formulas are also taking on a new meaning.
South African motorsport fans know Stephen as the multiple winning national championship Engen Xtreme driver who has achieved top honours in the Engen Volkswagen Cup, karts and production car racing as well as having competed in tin-top and single-seater formulas.
He has proved himself on the track both locally and abroad, and is respected and admired by race enthusiasts.
The 2015 season has seen some major changes for the multiple race champion, on and off the circuit. Not only will Stephen have to compete in a new-look production car formula, but more notably his season ahead will include a new bundle of joy as the Stephen household recently welcomed baby girl, Gia.
Michael and wife TracyLeigh’s first-born is now seven months old and has already made a lifelong impact on her mom and dad.
“Gia has turned our world upside down, even though she has only just become a part of our lives. Tracy-Leigh and I are doing what all new parents do – we’re finding our way along as best we can. We benefit from a fantastic support structure with willing and happy grandparents always ready to lend a hand or advice,” Stephen said.
“Balancing home and family life with racing is still relatively simple. I’m expecting things will get rather interesting as time goes on. I try to manage my time as effectively as possible to balance my work life – running the Terry Moss Racing Team and racing – with being a father.”
For the national championship-winning racer, the eightround 2015 season started well at Zwartkops Raceway.
Fastest in qualifying, a race victory and first overall for the day to emerging as the championship leader after round one, has set the wheels in motion for a good year.
“Peace of mind on the track comes from knowing that all is well back home,” Stephen said.
“Staying focused is critical to winning. Doubts and worries have no place in a champion’s helmet, so I simply cannot afford those kinds of distractions.
“Just as my technicians keep the race car prepped and ready to deliver its best, so Tracy- Leigh keeps control at home. It would not be possible to compete at this level without her help.”
Stephen goes into action again for round two of the National Championship when the Engen Xtreme team competes at Killarney in Cape Town on Saturday April 11.