State Title

BISHOP LANDS KING HIT

Daniel Bishop was just two years old when his father Jeff won a Western Australian Sidecar Championship way back in 1999 at Claremont Speedway just prior to its closure in 2000.

Remarkabley, all the stars aligned at Perth’s Pinjar Park Motorcycle Speedway last Saturday evening when young Daniel Bishop achieved what his father did some 21 years ago, when he stormed to victory winning the 2019/20 WA Sidecar Championship

I say this because it was remarkable he even rode the #81 outfit in the first place.

Quite by accident (no pun intended) Daniel moved up to take over the handlebar duties on the # 81 outfit when Jeff injured his elbow in a racing accident and was reluctantly forced off the bike.

At the time Daniel was swinging for Jeff and although he was destined to move forward in the future, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Another remarkable thing to keep in mind was that was just 5 meetings ago. The Championship night was Daniels 6th meeting up front piloting the outfit.

There’s more to come. The experienced Juston Winchester (who has previously won two WA Sidecar titles as a passenger) happened to be at Pinjar Park to swing for another competitor, who by chance could not get to the start line which left him without a ride. He was quickly invited to hop on with Daniel who was having his first ride up front on the bars.

But wait, there is more to this remarkable story.

Daniel and Juston rode in the Australia versus Great Britain night as the support class for the International Solos just a fortnight prior to the Sidecar Championship night and unfortunately they finished their night upside down with a very second hand bike and two banged up riders.

Several thousand dollars later the bike was repaired and the race was on for both Daniel and Juston to iron out their wrinkles.

Now here’s the thing. Jeff Bishop was expected to have a clearance from the medico’s to allow him to resume racing for the Championship event with Daniel back in the chair.

Jeff’s elbow injury was worse than first thought and it became clear he could not race in the title event, leaving Daniel and Juston to have a crack at the title.

And that they did. From early on they showed great pace and form in their heats amassing a war chest of valuable points to take them into the A Main Final and a chance at glory.

They were up against the current WA Champions, Headland / Whetstone combination from South Australia, WA number two, Liptrott and Thomas and former 7 times WA Champion Russell Mitchell with relative newcomer Morgan Corwall in the chair.

Reputations meant nothing. Daniel was in the final to win, and win he did, and in doing so, if I’m correct, became the youngest and most certainly the least experienced rider to do so in the events 61 year old history.

One could say there was an element of luck in his outstanding win, but as that old saying goes, ‘To finish first, first you have to finish’

The # 81 outfit performed to perfection keeping those behind them at bay for the four lap journey to cross the line victorious, giving Daniel his first and Juston his third Western Australian Sidecar Championship win.

Daniel certainly proved he is a force to be reckoned with in Sidecar racing. He and Juston teamed well together and raced like seasoned veterans. It became clear during their heat races that they were right in the mix and able to race with the best in the field. They were smooth and fast all night long.

Where to from here?

Well its clear that Jeff is not ready to retire just yet and clearly Daniel, having just won a State Title, won’t be keen to hand back the bike to dad just yet, so its a second bike in the Bishop household by the looks of it for next season.

Well done Daniel Bishop and Juston Winchester the new 2019/20 Western Australian Sidecar Champions.

Graeme Sinden.