Contesting their maiden Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge campaigns, the pair are enjoying the experience so far with Prince impressing at Phillip Island’s opening round by leading a rain-drenched Race 2.
Currently fourth in the series standings and within striking distance of the leaders, Prince is thrilled with the start to her Porsche career.
“I’ve been in it for two rounds and so far, I love it,” Prince said.
“I enjoy the Porsche community at the race track and it’s just a good environment to race in. It’s such a good class and such a good brand that is world renowned with such a strong family behind it.”
“I’ve really enjoyed my Porsche experience so far. It’s definitely exciting and it provides the start of my pathway up the Porsche Pyramid, of which I want to climb up the ladder to hopefully go overseas with it, but definitely compete in Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia.”
A graduate of Formula Ford, Prince has already noticed Porsche’s attention to detail, despite her short time in the class as she progressively moves towards her aim of becoming a professional driver.
“It’s definitely run a lot differently,” Prince said.
“I guess when you start stepping up the motorsport ladder each step is a lot different as when you get closer to the top it gets more and more professional.”
“Definitely the way Porsche run and conduct events, the whole environment is a lot more serious with an increased level of professionalism.”
Choosing renowned junior development team Sonic Motor Racing Services to back her campaign, Prince explained the Porsche pathway provided a clear process to potentially race internationally, with Porsche’s highest-tier worldwide on her radar.
“There’s a defined pathway through the Porsche Pyramid to follow, which is good in regards to other categories without one,” she said.
“I’m looking at Porsche Mobile 1 Supercup, which is my main aim.”
For Stewart, she has transferred her attention from Supercars to Porsche, but this comes as no surprise due to Le Mans winner Earl Bamber being a mentor and the support she enjoys from Porsche New Zealand.
“I’m lucky I get to work with Earl Bamber, who mentors and manage me as well, so he has some amazing Porsche connections worldwide,” Stewart said.
“Some pretty cool opportunities will be in the works too and I’m keen to take any opportunity that comes.”
The Gold Coast-based Kiwi races for Earl Bamber Motorsport, a team new to Australian Porsche competition, although it did win the Bathurst 12 Hour on debut in 2019.
Stewart noticed straight away the welcoming, yet competitive environment provided within the Porsche family.
“It’s definitely the most supportive category I’ve raced in,” Stewart acknowledged.
“I feel like Porsche actually really support the drivers letting them race hard, but wanting to see them do well. I definitely like the coffee cart as well!”
Stewart isn’t the only part of her family involved with Earl Bamber Motorsport, as sister Ashleigh acts as the team’s Australian coordinator. The Porsche family qualities experienced by Stewart on-track are carried over to her sister’s encounters off it.
“My sister Ashleigh is actually the team coordinator at Earl Bamber Motorsport, so I know she does a lot of work with Porsche to organise things, get the team where it needs to be and get everything done,” Stewart explained.
“She thinks Porsche is amazing as well for the support, the help and information it provides.”
Away from the track, Stewart represents Porsche at a variety of events, the last being women with drive hosted at Mount Cotton in Queensland.
“I went to the women with drive event at Mount Cotton with a group of Porsche-owning ladies so that’s really cool to have the opportunity to do that,” she said. “I loved it!”
Making the transition from Supercars to Porsche has been a challenging one for Stewart as both need to be driven differently, however she is improving every time she drives her Cup Car.
“I’ve had to learn quite a bit about how the car works and the best way to drive it,” Stewart explained.
“Every single round and test day we’ve done I’ve had some awesome progress so I’m really starting to love driving the car, whilst beginning to get the most out of it as well.”
Stewart admitted her association with Porsche New Zealand and Earl Bamber Motorsport weren’t the only reasons behind her move into the Porsche family.
“I think the racing is amazing in both Sprint Challenge and Carrera Cup Australia,” Stewart noted.
“It’s the closest racing there is, which develops you into a better driver."
“I also like that all the cars are the same so there’s no concern of whether one car is better or worse than another, it’s pretty much all down to the driver.”
After COVID halted Stewart’s plans of competing in Asia last year, she continues to harbor ambitions to race globally and is confident the Porsche pathway can get her there.
“I’d really love to do some international racing, so Carrera Cup Australia is the next step."
Should the South Australian border restrictions permit, both Stewart and Prince will be in action in the final two rounds of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge 2021 series, due to take place at The Bend Motorsport Park from the 10-12 December.
You can follow Stewart and Prince’s motorsport journey via the Porsche Motorsport Australia social pages: Instagram - @PorscheMotorsportAU / Twitter - @PorscheMspAU / Facebook.com/ PorscheMotorsportAU
Visit porsche.com/australia/70years for more information regarding 70 Years of Porsche in Australia, as well as following @PorscheAus on social media.
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