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 every opportunity to propel myself forward in my career, I'm not afraid to take big risks and often taking the next step ahead of what people would consider the 'norm', I contribute a lot of my successes to this.
After three years of racing karts in my home country, New Zealand I began racing in Australia, to compete in a much larger and extremely competitive racing series. For over 22 weekends each year my incredibly supportive family and I travelled to Australia where I raced in the Rotax Pro Tour and Australian Kart Championship All 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 approached by V8 Supercar team owner Brad Jones, who offered me a test day in a Super3 car. It was a huge step jumping from a Kart into a 2012 Holden V8 Commadore. This was the beginning of my Career in Car Racing, something I never imagined I would be lucky enough to do. I then spent 2019 competing in Super3 before transitioning into Porsche racing. Due to Covid we had a few years where we were only able to do a couple of race meetings. 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 competed in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North American Championship. The year so far has been very successful as I finished the year 3rd overall in the Championship.
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 14-18 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. This was such a great experience and gave me some new knowledge to help my driving but also reconfirmed the passion that I have for Mechanical Engineering. 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.