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Madeline Stewart collects first points in Porsche Carrera Cup NA

Madeline Stewart secured her first career points in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America at Montreal, navigating challenging wet conditions to achieve her best series result to date.

Madeline Stewart, JDX Racing, 2024 Porsche Carrera Cup North America, Montreal
Photo credits: JDX Racing

Porsche Carrera Cup North America contested its second consecutive round in support of Formula 1, with a dramatic double header at Montreal this past weekend, with unpredictable weather adding to the complexity of the fast Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In very challenging conditions, Madeline Stewart showcased her skills, navigating two safety car-filled races to secure her first career points in the series.

JDX Racing driver Madeline Stewart continued her improvements in the Porsche one-make series, having previously impressed in the Sprint Challenge NA championship, in her first season of competitions in the United States. After two positive practice sessions – held in changeable weather – Madeline started qualifying at Montreal with good speed in the opening minutes: with 10 minutes remaining, she put in a stellar lap to climb to P12. Ultimately, she secured P17 overall and 14th in the PRO class, setting a solid foundation for the races ahead.

Saturday's race began under dark skies, with the threat of rain looming. The clock started with the first formation lap, but a second formation lap delayed the actual start, leaving 36 minutes on the clock when the race finally commenced.

At lights out, Baltas seized the lead at Turn 1, followed closely by Cooper in second, Hartog in third, and Sedgwick in fourth. By the end of the first lap, light rain began to fall, adding a new layer of complexity to the race.

Madeline Stewart experienced a dynamic race herself. Starting from P17 overall and 14th in the PRO class, she dropped to P19 overall by the end of the first lap, although she maintained her position in the class.

While the drizzle persisted and the skies grew darker, the drivers continued to race on slick tyres despite the increasingly slippery conditions. On the second lap, Stewart managed to move up to P18 overall after passing Matt Halcome. By the third lap, she advanced to P17 overall as Sabré Cook spun, allowing her to gain another position in the PRO class.

However, the situation took a turn on the fourth lap when the safety car was deployed due to the intensifying rain, especially heavy at the hairpin. When a few drivers spun, the race conditions had deteriorated rapidly. The rain continued to worsen on the fifth lap, prompting race officials to show the red flag, allowing teams to switch to wet tyres.

Once the rain slightly eased, the race resumed under yellow with just six and a half minutes remaining. Despite hopes for a competitive finish, the race concluded under the safety car without returning to green-flag conditions.

Stewart therefore finished P17 overall and P13 in the PRO class, in a positive performance that saw the New Zealander moving up the field with no mistakes in such challenging conditions.

The rain persisted into Sunday, with another wet race forecasted. Stewart aimed to improve from her P16 overall starting position, P13 in the PRO class. The race began behind the safety car due to the wet conditions, and all drivers were cautious from the get go. Once green-flag racing commenced, Loek Hartog held the lead, with Yves Baltas and Alex Sedgwick following closely.

Stewart maintained her composure throughout the race, initially making up positions but later losing one to the recovering Sabré Cook. The race was interrupted by a significant crash involving Kaminsky at the final chicane, which brought out the safety car once again. Due to extensive barrier damage, the race concluded under caution, preventing any further green-flag racing.

Stewart crossed the finish line P13 overall and P12 in the PRO class, marking her best result in the series to date and her first championship points. Reflecting on the weekend, she said, "We are happy to be leaving Montreal with some points and a straight car. It was certainly a challenging weekend for everyone as the weather added an extra variable."

"The rain came at very inconvenient times for us and so unfortunately we did not get many racing laps", she continued. "However, despite this, I do believe we made a step forward in development and I am leaving Montreal with more confidence in the package that JDX Racing and I are bringing.

"The team did a fantastic job all weekend despite the challenges. Our race two result was our best result of the season so far, and I am looking forward to racing at Watkins Glen in two weeks' time to continue to build momentum."

After two consecutive events supporting Formula 1, the Porsche Carrera Cup North America returns to the IMSA calendar at Watkins Glen on June 20-22. Stewart and her team are eager to continue their progress and build on the momentum gained in Montreal.



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