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Feature: Bryce Fullwood, top-end talent

Bryce Fullwood will become the first Northern Territorian to race in front of his home crowd as a full-time driver in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship when the main game visits Darwin. But, even more remarkably, Fullwood wasn’t even born the last time Walkinshaw Andretti United (formerly the Holden Racing Team) ran a rookie in one of its entries back in 1997. We profile the full-time rookie in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #116.

10 May 2020

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #116.

There is a peculiar synergy between 2020 Walkinshaw Andretti United rookie Bryce Fullwood and 1997 Holden Racing Team rookie Greg Murphy. Not only are the pair the only two newcomers to contest the main series in a primary car with the prestigious Holden team, but Murphy was the first person who taught Fullwood how to drive a Supercar. Fullwood made the switch straight from karts to tin-tops in 2015 at the advice of Tickford Racing boss Tim Edwards and linked with the Murphy family for training in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

“My Dad [Brad] got onto Greg’s father, Kevin; I’m not sure how he got onto Kevin, but it worked out that in New Zealand they had an old Supercar over there” Fullwood recalls.

“Greg did rides in them and we managed to tee-up to do 100 laps with him. We had an intercom in the car, and he was teaching me how to change gears, heel and toe and generally how to drive the car. He taught me all the basics. I pretty much went from there straight to Adelaide [Super2 in 2015]. So it was a fairly big adjustment for me, that’s for sure.”

Fullwood claimed the 2019 Dunlop Super2 Series title by a dominant 422 points over his nearest rival, which gave him plenty of confidence going into the 2020 season.

“I think you’d be silly going into the main series thinking that it’s going to be a walk in the park” he says. 

“But I do think that the good guys in Super2 are genuinely good at what they do. For me, I was racing with André [Heimgartner] in the enduros last year. I was really excited to see where I sat against him because he’d been doing a really good job in the Nissan. 

“I was happy that he actually wasn’t really any quicker than me. That gave me a lot of confidence seeing how well he’d been doing.” 

He also does not fear his highly-rated teammate Chaz Mostert, who Fullwood says has been really helpful. According to Fullwood, Mostert has been pushing hard to try and make sure the rookie has a good engineer and has been working behind the scenes to make sure Walkinshaw Andretti United has the best people they can get a hold of.

“He wants the best for me, but he wants the best for the team going forward too” Fullwood says of Mostert. 

“He’s been trying to include me in as much conversation as he can with the team and just trying to make sure that we’re all on the same page. He’s been a really, really good help like that. I certainly didn’t expect that and I’m very fortunate for it, that’s for sure.”

Fullwood says he couldn’t ask for a better scenario than being pitted alongside Mostert, who he can share data with and learn from during the season. 

“I think for me he is a great yardstick” he says. 

“I don’t feel as though he is unbeatable. I think for me in my rookie season I don’t need to necessarily beat him every weekend to show that I’m doing a good job. 

“If I can be somewhere close to him in my first year, seeing as this is his seventh or eighth year, I think that would be a pretty good effort. Obviously, my goal is to try and win, but I think you have to be realistic too.”

And, Fullwood believes the team can return to the level of success it had back in the day.

“I believe that they are a high-profile team in the making, so I’m super stoked to be driving with them” he says. 

“Having recently learned they haven’t had a rookie since Greg Murphy in 1997, it’s a pretty cool thing for me, that’s for sure.” 

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