Stevie follows Smith family footsteps
Stevie Smith’s pathway into speedway was one that had been paved from an early age, with the youngest of the Hobart, Tasmania-based Smith clan following in the footsteps, and the tyre tracks, of both her father and brother.
With her dad John racing Super Sedans, Sprintcars and later AMCA Nationals, being a regular front-runner in all of them and winning the 1996 Tasmanian Sprintcar Title, a passion for speedway was instilled in Smith from the outset; a passion that continue to grow as she began to see her own career as a driver on the horizon.
Having also witnessed her older brother Josh’s introduction into speedway via the Junior Sedans class, where he became one of the Apple Isle’s leading drivers, with his highlights included a second-place finish in a Tasmanian Title and seventh in a National Title, before graduating from the class and transitioning into drifting, it wasn’t long before Smith took up her place behind the steering wheel.
Making her debut in the 2017-18 season aboard the ex-Maddi McGee Tasmanian Title winning Daihatsu Charade, Smith’s induction into the Junior Sedans New Stars category was a great learning experience, which also resulted in an impressive seventh-place finish during the Tasmanian Title, along with numerous top-three results in her heat races. However, it wasn’t until her second full season that she well and truly hit her stride.
Updating to a larger capacity Daihatsu Charade at the beginning of this season, the 13-year-old driver has already racked up a whopping 10 feature-race wins in New Stars, but it was her recent Tasmanian Title performance at Hobart Speedway that demonstrated her improvement.
Feeling confident and eager to get her campaign underway after such a strong start to the season, Smith’s night quickly took a turn for the worse when a racing incident in her opening heat race caused significant damage to her Tas # 2 Daniel Sutcliffe Earthmoving / AJ & DM Dunster Cartage supported car.
Thanks to the efforts of the Triffett, Ripper and Dillon families, along with Smith’s dad John and mechanic Leroy Wilton, Smith was able to return to the track for her remaining heat races, qualifying out of position 10 for the 20-lap feature race and powering forward to a pleasing fifth-place finish.
Giving credit where credit is due, Smith is extremely grateful for the wealth of support and experience that her dad brings to the fold.
“Dad’s really helped me out during the last couple of seasons and it’s all of his knowledge that is helping me to become a better driver, so I have to say a big thanks to him, along with our mechanic Leroy and all of our sponsors,” she said.
With four seasons remaining in Junior Sedans before she can graduate to senior competition, Smith plans to get as much track time under her belt as possible in order to continue improving on her consistency as she progresses into the Top Stars category next season. She also hopes to challenge for Tasmanian Title win in the future – something that the family has not yet been able to achieve.
Throughout the 2018-19 season, Smith is proudly supported by the following sponsors:
Daniel Sutcliffe Earthmoving
AJ & DM Dunster Cartage
Electrics by Lloyd
Josh Smith Automotive
Oslo Drapery Hardware
Tasmania’s Own Redline
Dobson’s Monumental Works
TK Panel & Paint
Special thanks go to Smith’s mum and dad Paula and John, Leroy Wilton, and the sponsor of the Tasmanian Junior Sedan Series: Tinnies Pies.