Prior to today’s 400 Thunder Sportsman round at Willowbank Raceway, we were able to catch up with Dave Gauldie and talk a little about his family’s involvement in drag racing, as well as the changes they have made with their transition from Super Gas to Top Sportsman racing this year.
Gauldie and his wife, Stacey, bought their Oldsmobile Cutlass race car five years ago and have been running it for the past three mainly in Super Gas, a bracket that he has been racing for 22 years.
Dave’s racing started in 1983 in Super Street at Surfer’s Paradise, and almost every event held at Willowbank since it’s opening in 1985. What a phenomenal effort!
Willowbank is the Gauldie family’s home track with Dave winning two Super Street and two Super Sedan Track Championships.
“The car is an Oldsmobile Cutlass running a 540cu in BBC with a ProTrans Powerglide. The car ran a lot of throttle-stop to slow it down from 8.30 to 9.90 at around 160+ mph. Very much the same as most of the Super Gas style setups in the States,” Dave Gauldie said.
“Now we’re running the car flat out to run 8.30’s 165 mph, and a few things have had to change in the way the car leaves the line and hooks up early under full power. Without the throttle-stop we used in Super Gas to slow the car so early in the run it has taken the team a little bit of time to get a handle on getting the car to settle into the run after launch.”
But Gauldie feels they’re on top of it now and really looking forward to going some rounds at both this weekend’s Willowbank 400 Thunder Sportsman round, and at the up-coming Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway in May.
The Gauldies can run the car as a couple-crew, but on most days their two grown children assist with crew duties, the kids also running at the Queensland Drag Racing Club rounds against their parents in the Street Series and in Powder Puff classes.
Dave enjoys the competition of the Top Sportsman class, as it’s full of some “top notch, full-on, crème de la crème cars.”
“Big differences in running Top Sportsman verses Super Gas is the Pro light compared to a full tree, and chasing your dial-in rather than the stop adjustments. The weather is the constant changing factor and each type of racing has a different adjustment that is needed to make,” he said.
“We have all the ducks in a row to do well, now it’s just up to me to perform on the day and make it happen.
“I have learnt over the many years of racing that luck plays a part in it all and anything can happen on the day.”
We wish the Gauldie’s all the best today!
Details about today’s event can be found here.