The 2015 season was a successful and busy season for Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer, who won the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST title and also launched their own McCumbee McAleer Racing team in the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series.
Things will be different for the pair in 2016, as they ramp up their MX-5 program but are still in the process of sorting out their Continental Tire Challenge plans.
With CJ Wilson Racing confirming a move to a two-car Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport program, McCumbee and McAleer are determining where else they might be racing in the series next year.
“I’m pretty sure they’ve gone a different route,” McCumbee told Sportscar365. “We haven’t been told we would be able to return there. It’s safe to say we’d be doing something different next year.”
Their immediate focus is growing their MMR program with the new Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car, which will be introduced to competition in 2016. McCumbee has confirmed the order of at least “a couple” new cars for next season.
In their first year as a team, McCumbee and Danny Bender won races, and the team won the Team of the Year honors in MX-5 Cup.
“Our goal right now is to just probably increase our presence in MX-5 Cup paddock over what we did this year,” McCumbee explained. “Overall we had an awesome season, from what we did driving, outside to my stock car stuff, to all of Stevan’s go-karting stuff.
“We won the Team of the Year award, which is a huge accomplishment. We won two races. We had a few podium finishes and had the customers.
“The goal is to expand that operation a bit. We talked about venturing into other series, but our main concentration is ModSpace Motorsports program. We are doing everything we can do to be as efficient as possible.
“With a full field of Global MX-5 Cup cars, the series could explode. We should have formal announcements on driver lineups and what we have in 2016 around or after the first of the year.”
On the Continental Tire Challenge side, McCumbee came of age as a sports car driver this year as part of the pair’s two wins, and together with McAleer, not only grew their chemistry as co-drivers but as business partners.
Stock car veteran McCumbee, in particular, was floored with the reaction he received to winning the championship.
“I’ve been humbled by number of people that have reached out, and seen everything we’ve done. That’s been pretty awesome,” he said.
“But I hope that all that means we’d be able to secure something awesome for next year. It’s a tough sport sometimes. We thought we’d go one direction, and we weren’t 100 percent sure what CJ had going on.
“We have to keep taking care of our careers. The goal is to get to the top level of sport. I was so blessed to do that on the stock car side. Now, we both want to be at that level in sports car racing.”
Although their plans aren’t settled yet, McCumbee wants to continue with McAleer as his co-driver.
“That’s the direction we’re hoping to go. We don’t really know the exact direction as yet,” he said. “I’m hoping we know in the next 30 days.
“Hopefully everything we’ve done prior to this will mean a world of difference.”