This season, the Hardwyer Motorsport team is excited to have welcomed on board their new team driver in experienced racer Harley Bishop, who recently made a return to Speedcars, after last running with the class in 2015.
With team co-owner Mark Harrington having stepped away from driver duties prior to the 2017-18 season, Harrington and co-owner Alison Dwyer, who are also the South Australian distributers for American Racer, once again decided to venture into team ownership, with Paul ‘Spanners’ Murphy and Brett Ireland having previously piloted the team’s car.
Wanting to give themselves the best chance to be consistently competitive from the outset, the Oakbank, South Australia-based team offered Bishop the driver’s seat aboard the SA # 6 The Speedway Shop-backed Esslinger powered Spike.
“We’ve had a long association with Harley and he’s a talented steerer, so we were pleased to be able to offer him the opportunity to join our team this season,” commented Harrington.
“We wanted to sign an experienced driver who would be able to jump in the car and be competitive from the get-go with little to no coaching. Harley’s also a really fun guy, who always tries to put a smile on everyone’s face both at the track and away from it, so we’re really looking forward to working with him.”
Growing up around speedway from an early age, with his dad Ray ‘Noddy’ Bishop having raced Speedcars for over three decades without missing a season, Bishop has certainly followed in his dad’s tyre tracks, having also competed in Speedcars for 16 years, both on a domestic and national level.
Some of Bishop’s career highlights in Speedcars include qualifying on pole position in an Australian Title at Lismore Speedway, winning a Victorian Club Championship, winning two Beasley Family Memorials, winning numerous Speedcar Super Series rounds and minor podium finishes in Victorian and SA Titles, along with winning a feature race at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway and sharing the podium with his Rinkin Motorsport teammates Matt Smith and Anthony Brien.
Having entertained the idea of returning to Speedcars, Bishop, who resides in Sunbury in the north-west of Melbourne, Victoria, couldn’t have been happier to team up with the Hardwyer Motorsport team in the 2017-18 season.
“I’m very pleased to be racing for Mark and Alison this season,” enthused the 37-year-old racer, who is now considered one of the more senior drivers in Speedcars and who is looking forward to getting back to his roots, after missing the camaraderie that comes with racing in the class.
“Having stepped away from Sprintcars, I’m 100 percent focused on the Speedcar this season. The new team package is going to be a learning experience for me throughout the season, which is something I’m really excited about.
“We’ve started the season strongly and we’re hoping to continue running consistently within the top five, while hopefully placing inside the top 10 in the Australian Title, which carries a lot of prestige and is essentially the Holy Grail in Speedcars.
“We’re also just going to try and have as much fun as possible and make the best out of each result. If all goes well this season, one of my goals is to hopefully compete in New Zealand next season.”
Getting their 2017-18 season underway recently at Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia, Bishop and the team had the best start they could possibly hope for, with Bishop taking out the opening Blackjack Series round and collecting his maiden win for the Hardwyer Motorsport team in the process. It was also a clean sweep for the team, after Bishop was victorious in both of his earlier heat races.
The team is planning to contest around 15 shows this season throughout the East Coast, including the Speedcar Super Series finale at Valvoline Raceway, the SA, Victorian and NSW Titles and the Australian Title on home soil at Murray Bridge Speedway.
For their next appearance, the team will head to Valvoline Raceway this Saturday night to contest the George Tatnell Challenge, which will be run in conjunction with the second Speedcar Super Series round.
Hardwyer Motorsport would like to thank the following 2017-18 season sponsors for their support: The Speedway Shop, American Racer, Mud Buddy, Lucas Oil, Picko’s Photos, Pak Rite, P1 Australia, Steve Wicks Powdercoating, Scotcher Race fuels, P&D Murphy Transport, Briter Hard Floors and Spike Chassis.
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Photos: Picko's Photos
ORIGINAL ARTICLE - http://www.totallyspeedway.com.au/open-wheelers/speedcars/3901-hardwyer-motorsport-and-bishop-join-forces1