I am Madeline Stewart and I am a 3rd generation Racing Driver. I have spent the past 13 years with one goal in mind, to be a professional Racing Driver. From the age of 9, I have taken big risks to propel myself forward in my career, often taking the next step before I was even ready. Looking back, I believe doing this was crucial in improving me as a driver.
After just 3 short years of racing karts in New Zealand we took the step across the ditch to race in Australia, to compete in a much larger and extremely competitive racing series. The commitment it took for my family, to be living in New Zealand but flying to Australia for over 22 weekends in a year, was huge. Al this while we continued to compete in NZ as well. We did this for 5 years. After much success in the Rotax Categories, winning an Australian State Title and leading the Rotax Pro Tour championship for the first half of the year.
In 2017, I stepped into KZ2, the elite class of karting where the best of the best go head to head in 6 speed shifter karts. For a few years, I was the only female, and one of the youngest drivers, competing in this category in both Australia and New Zealand. I finished 2nd at the New Zealand national championship in KZ2 and also raced in the USA at the SKUSA Las Vegas event, twice.
Through my Karting achievements in Australia, I was noticed by V8 Supercar team owner Brad Jones, who gave me a test day in a Super3 car. It was a huge step jumping from a go kart into a 2012 Holden V8 Commadore but this was what started my career in cars. From there, I spent a year competing in Super3 before transitioning into Porsche racing around Covid. In 2022, I completed my first full championship in Porsche. It was mid 2022, when I flew to the USA to watch Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, and that was when I fell in love with the American Racing Scene. So in 2023 I am competing in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North American Championship. The year so far has been very successful as I currently sit 3rd in the championship with 3 rounds to go.
BEYOND THE RACE TRACK...
In 2020, I became a business owner and opened a Fitstop group fitness gym on the Gold Coast. At 20 years old, I was the youngest owner/manager in the franchise group. After completing my Cert 4 Personal Training qualification, I trialled a number of group fitness franchises before selecting Fitstop. I secured the franchise, found and leased the premises, managed the fitout, ran a marketing campaign, hired trainers and opened for business in November. I now have 4 staff and 140 members. Along with learning the ins and outs of business, the gym helps me to maintain and develop my fitness, provides me with the flexibility to go racing and allows me to engage my passion for helping people discover what’s possible and helping them achieve their goals.
I have always had an interest in mechanical objects and finding out how things work. I learned to work on my own Kart and from the ages of 15-18 would often travel to Australia on my own for practice and as a team, we would all work on our own Karts. I wanted to understand more about car set-up and how cars are tuned to make them faster. At the end of 2019, I attended the renowned OptimumG Applied Vehicle Dynamics Seminar delivered by motorsport engineering guru, Claud Rouelle. I plan on continuing to learn about engineering through my career.
I am also a strong advocate for females in the sport, I strive to create a more inclusive and diverse motorsport community, where every aspiring driver, regardless of their gender, has a chance to shine. I want to inspire the next generation to chase their dreams fearlessly and without limitations.