Bryce Fullwood has labelled his third place finish at The Bend an “unbelievable” achievement as the first Northern Territory-born driver to claim a Supercars podium.
The Darwin-born driver paid tribute to the region following his breakthrough performance with Walkinshaw Andretti United.
Fullwood rose from 13th on the grid to cross the line fourth, but was handed a podium finish when Scott McLaughlin was given a 15-second penalty for an incident with Lee Holdsworth.
The 22-year-old who last year won the Dunlop Super2 Series said he didn’t anticipate such early success in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
“I’m absolutely speechless,” said Fullwood.
“I didn’t think we were going to be taking trophies home this year. I was just stoked getting into Top 10 Shootouts.
“There was shit flying everywhere in that race to be brutally honest, really cool, pretty unbelievable.”
Fullwood harked back to his early days of racing, which largely consisted of karting competition and local Holden HQ competitions at Hidden Valley Raceway.
The Supercars rookie took an unconventional path to the top, skipping junior single-seaters and stepping into the Super2 Series in 2015.
Having come from humble beginnings, Fullwood said his success in Supercars is all the sweeter.
“Especially in the early days, going through go-karts it was certainly a lot harder racing from Darwin,” said Fullwood.
“But it doesn’t really matter where you’re from, you can make it happen if you want to. It doesn’t hold me back and I’m just super happy to do it for the Territory.”
Walkinshaw Andretti United Team Principal Bruce Stewart said Fullwood’s first podium was “pretty emotional” for the Melbourne-based team.
The charge through the field contrasted the result of team-mate Chaz Mostert, who fell from pole position to 12th.
“To see a young man come and do that, that was pretty cool,” said Stewart on Supercars’ Paddock Pass Live.
“Texting his parents, they’re up in Darwin at the moment, I’m lost for words.
“We believe in the kid and he’s shown a lot of pace, been a little bit unlucky at times, got beaten up a few times, but you know what, today he raced like a gem.
“Unfortunately, Chaz’s car didn’t go where we wanted it to go and that’s racing. The young man came through, and that was so cool.”