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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Madeline Stewart makes promising Porsche Carrera Cup debut

"Although we didn’t get the results that we had hoped for, we showed great potential and I learned so much" - Having graduated from Porsche Sprint Challenge, Madeline Stewart had an encouraging debut in the highly competitive Porsche Carrera Cup NA, collecting a class top-15 at Sebring.

Madeline Stewart, JDX Racing, Porsche Carrera Cup North America, 2024 Sebring
Photo by: Jessica Johnk

Porsche Carrera Cup North America rookie Madeline Stewart had a promising start to her second season in North America's competitions, having shown speed throughout the opening weekend at Sebring International Raceway - in a support event to the IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring - despite having her weekend cut short by an accident in race 2 that prevented the young New Zealander to reach the deserved results.

Stewart made a positive impact with consistent podium finishes at her first year of competitions in the States in 2023: having moved to the US to pursue her racing dream after competing in the Carrera Cup Australia, Madeline was then selected for the Porsche Female Driver Development Program as part of her Porsche Sprint Challenge North America 992 campaign. She would claim a pole position at debut at Sebring, followed by podium finishes in her first weekends in the series. The JDX Motorsport driver scored a big haul of points and eventually secured third in the championship standings - which was a springboard to her 2024 debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup NA.

Continuing her progression with JDX Motorsport, Stewart was also competitive in pre-season testing - held one week before the season opener - and carried her speed into the official practices, where she was just outside the top-10 in the Pro category, in a strong 40-car field.

Coming into qualifying, which took place in warm conditions on Thursday morning, Stewart was 18th fastest in both her best and second-best lap classifications, which set the grid for the two weekend's races at the Florida venue, famous for its demanding track surface.

On Thursday afternoon, Loek Hartog retained the top spot after a blistering start - but the race was soon neutralized after an accident that involved ProAm pole-sitter Alan Metni.

At the wheel of the #82 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, Stewart held position after the first chaotic laps and, at the restart on lap 6, she picked up one position moving up to P17.

Ahead, Hartog tried to pull away from Gustav Burton.

Throughout her first series outing, Madeline's pace remained very consistent and she caught Marco Cirone (ACI Motorsports) and James Sofronas (GMG Racing), who were battling for the ProAm lead. She would settle in P17 overall and P15 among the Pro entries.

Efrin Castro spun on the final lap but the race stayed green - and Loek Hartog took the chequered flag to secure the first win of the season, with Burton not far behind. Ryan Yardley rounded out the overall podium.

A very encouraging debut for Kiwi racer Madeline Stewart saw the JDX Racing driver crossing the line 15th in class, in a very promising start to her campaign.

From 18th on the grid, Madeline Stewart took the start of race 2 as the sun set over Florida.

Unfortunately, her race came to a premature end on the first lap, as chaos ensued just after the first corners.

Entering turn 5, Madeline Stewart was hit twice and spun around, with her #82 JDX Racing Porsche 992 sustaining heavy damage to the rear. The accident triggered the safety car and Stewart was unfortunately out of the race, luckily unhurt.

"I really enjoyed my first weekend of racing in Carrera Cup North America", Madeline commented, still satisfied by her debut in the series. "The competition is tough and definitely a step up from the Sprint Challenge series, but it’s great for my development as a driver."

"Although we didn’t get the results that we had hoped for, we showed great potential and I learned so much", she continued. "I am looking forward to building on this at around 2 in Miami. A huge thank you to JDX Racing for giving me just a fantastic car, especially Ryan, Adam and Jeremy for the help. To my Sponsors, Byers, Porsche Columbus, Spool Imports, Boss Air Suspension, Pro Sports Consulting Group and Therese, thank you for making this happen. Also a huge thank you to Porsche Motorsport North America, Mobil 1 and Yokohama for their continued support."

The second double-header round of the 2024 Porsche Carrera Cup North America season will be held as a support event of the Miami Grand Prix on May 5-3, around the 5,412 metre-long street circuit that has hosted Formula 1 since 2022.

Unlike at Sebring, Madeline Stewart will have to learn a new circuit, but she aims to continue the positive trend shown at the championship curtain-raiser and close further in on the Pro class top ten.



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