Track duel heats up as pair battles for lead
CLOSE friends and fierce competitors Dave Gauldie and Simon Isherwood are separated by just a single point in the battle for the Willowbank Raceway Super Gas Queensland Drag Racing Championship.
The championship lead goes on the line at Willowbank on Saturday.
This weekend's fifth of seven rounds for the QDRC follows a weekend of Nostalgia Drag Racing at Willowbank Raceway.
Between them, the Kallangur-based pair have won every Super Gas track championship that has been held, holding three titles apiece.
When it comes to the 2014 title battle, Gauldie is leading the way with 81 points over reigning champion Isherwood's 80, with three rounds to run.
So far this year, Isherwood has enjoyed two event wins from three finals appearances.
Gauldie has two wins from two finales.
While they may be close friends - Isherwood even sponsors Gauldie's race campaign through his business Neptune Pool Care - friendship goes out the window when it comes time to compete.
"I definitely want to keep the title and it is a constant battle - Dave and I are great friends, we are practically team mates," said Isherwood, 42.
"While we have been close friends for around seven years now after meeting through this bracket, you can be guaranteed that neither of us will be giving an inch right to the end of the season.''
For Gauldie, facing off against his mate encourages his competitive edge.
"We are friends off the race track, but when it comes to racing I do find I step it up a bit and concentrate more on doing the best run I can when I am facing off against him,'' said Gauldie, 48.
"I always tell him he brings out the best in me on the track.''
Over its first four rounds, the 2014 season has thrown up challenges for both racers.
"The Super Gas bracket is very close, there are no easy wins and while we may be small, we are all extremely competitive," said Isherwood.
He races an Australian-built, left-hand drive VR Commodore powered by a big block Chevy.
"I had to have a hernia operation around Easter which put me on the back foot, but I am now feeling much more on top of everything physically and mentally,'' Isherwood said.
"I am looking forward to getting back out on track this weekend and trying to keep that run going.''
An exciting program of racing brackets is planned at Willowbank Raceway on Saturday.
Round four of Queensland Drag Racing Championship at Willowbank Raceway on Saturday.
- Racing from: SuperComp, Comp Bike, Outlaws, Modified, Super Sedan, Super Street, Modified Bike, Junior Dragster and Super Gas.
- Schedule: Gates open 7am. Qualifying from 9am-1pm. Racing from 1pm.
- Tickets: Adults $20. Students with ID $18. Children 13 and under gain free entry.