Steering a 3500 horsepower, supercharged Top Doorslammer down a narrow strip of bitumen and accelerating to 400kmh in just six seconds might be the second most intense thing Queensland drag racer Stuart Bishop has ever done in Adelaide.
The Lady Daly Hotel Springnationals at Adelaide International Raceway will mark the first time Bishop has raced in the ANDRA Drag Racing Series in South Australia but he is by no means a stranger to the region, especially its waters, having spent a lot of time there in his competitive sailing days.
“I love Adelaide and we used to have a lot of the Olympic sailing trials there, so all around Brighton and Seacliff is my old stomping ground,” he said.
Bishop was successful in sailing before drag racing and though he narrowly missed out on making the Olympics in 1988 and 1992 he still looks back in fondness at the time.
“I came third in the trials both times and it was the top two guys who got to go to the Olympics but sailing still took me all over the world,” he said.
This time around in the City of Churches, the appropriately named Bishop will be facing a tough field of drag racing pros including current championship leader Peter Kapiris, six times national champion Victor Bray and five times national champion John Zappia.
“I’m excited about it, there’s always something in the back of the head about heading to a new track,” he said. “I just love going for a skid. This is my hobby and I don’t get to do it often enough.
“We’re not going there to give ourselves a wooden spoon that’s for sure. We’re going to give it a good hard hit and see if we can’t go the team proud.
“Adelaide is a new challenge but that track might work well with our car.”
Bishop, who outside of racing is the chief executive of national jewellery retailer Wallace Bishop, explained that crew chief Daniel Reed seems to have found what the Camaro likes.
“Since the Fuchs Winternationals in June, Daniel has really got the car moving along and I hope he can put that together for us in Adelaide,” he said. “We’ve got a member of our team, Jeff Taylor, who is battling some health problems at the moment and we’d really like to get a win for him.”
The Top Doorslammers will be joined in Adelaide by Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle plus a round of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship