Max Stewart

Max Stewart

14/3/1935 - 19/3/1977

Max Stewart started racing motorcycles before omving to single seaters and saloon cars. He won the Australian F2 title four times and the Australian Grand Prix twice (non-championship). He was killed in an accident in practice for a race at Calder in 1977.

Max Stewart began his career on motorcycles and was selected to represent Australia at the Isle of Man in 1955 but had to withdraw due to apprenticeship commitments.

The period 1957-1961 saw him build and race the then fastest FJ Holden in Australia. From 1961-1964 he took out four State titles at the National Championships in Go-kart racing. From there he moved to a Triumph 2000 and competed in the Bathurst 500 in 1964, 1965 and 1967.

In 1965 he moved into open wheel racing with a Renmax F2 car and then a Mildren. In Australian F2 he finished runner up in 1965 and then won in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970.

In 1970 Max contested the Japanese Grand Prix in a Mildren, finishing second to World Champion Jackie Stewart.

He won the Singapore Grand Prix and came second in the Macau Grand Prix in 1972 which prompted him to move to Formula 5000 with an Elfin MR5.

In 1975 Max contested the L&M Series in the United States and after six races he was in fourth position overall but had to return home with a fractured wrist.

He came second overall in the Tasman Series in 1976 and made history that year by winning five out of the six rounds of the Gold Star Drivers Championship. He also won the Australian Grand Prix at Oran Park and the Sydney Round of the Gold Star, driving a Lola T330.

In 1975 at Surfers Paradise he won his second successive Australian Grand Prix in a Lola T400 under the most appalling conditions.

In 1976 the Tasman series split with New Zealand and Australia running separate series. In New Zealand in the Peter Stuyvesant Series Max recorded good wins at Levin and Mansfield and also won a round of the Australian Drivers' Championship at Oran Park.

1977 started well with a number of wins in his Lola T400, including a Rothmans Series race at Sandown, Melbourne. Unfortunately on 19 March 1977 in a practise session at Calder Raceway, Melbourne he was involved in a collision with Chas Talbot's Begg FM5-Chevrolet. His car hit the Armco head on and one of the roll bar supports pierced his helmet visor. He succumbed to his injuries in hospital that night. The car was crushed under customs supervision after the crash.

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