FEMALE KARTER MAKES STEP UP TO SUPER3
Published 05 March 2019
Madeline Stewart joins Brad Jones Racing for Super3 Series…
STORY: WILL DALE
BRAD Jones Racing has signed promising 18-year-old Madeline Stewart to their Kumho Tyres Super3 Series program for 2019.
Stewart is a third-generation racer who is stepping up to the third-tier Supercars series after nine years of racing karts.
Among a career that has taken her from her native New Zealand to Australia, the CIK Asia Pacific Championship in Macau and the SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas, Stewart cites cites her biggest achievements as winning the 2017 South Australian Rotax 125 Light State Title and finishing 2nd in the 2018 Kartsport NZ National Sprint Championship in the KZ2 class.
“My grandfather raced, then my father, followed by my sister Ashleigh," Stewart said. "When Ash moved up a class, I got her old kart and was on my way. It’s something we’ve always done as a family, we love racing and being competitive."
Stewart has already completed a test day with the team ahead of the beginning of the recently renamed series in April, and admits she faces a challenging learning curve.
"It’s a big deal going from karting straight into Super3," she said. "Most people will go through Formula Ford or Toyota 86 first, making the transition a little easier.
“I’ve had to learn a lot about how to make these cars work and the way my inputs can make a big difference in how the car handles.
"Macauley (Jones) has been a great mentor and is really helping me get up to speed with the car.
"I want to go into the first round as prepared as possible, however, you don’t get that racing experience until you’re off the line and side by side with everyone else.
“A few people I’ve raced against in karts over the years will be making their Super3 debut this year too, so it should make for great on-track competition. If I can keep progressing, learning and moving forward through the field then that will be a pretty solid first year."
The signing ensures female racers will have competed in all three Supercars tiers in 2019, with Simona De Silvestro racing for Kelly Racing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and The Grand Tour's Abbie Eaton making her debut in the Dunlop Super2 Series in Adelaide.
Stewart joins 2017 Australian Karting Champion Josh Fife in BJR's two-car attack on the Super3 Series, the pair set to have two more test days ahead of the start of the season at Phillip Island on April 12-14.