Gary Hamilton interview

In 12 months, Gary Hamilton has turned many heads in the Queensland Sports Sedan paddock, with a series of very smart and smooth drives in his little Datsun 1000. Even at Queensland Raceway, where horsepower is normally a deciding factor as to who...

In 12 months, Gary Hamilton has turned many heads in the Queensland Sports Sedan paddock, with a series of very smart and smooth drives in his little Datsun 1000. Even at Queensland Raceway, where horsepower is normally a deciding factor as to who gets onto the podium, the rotary rocket is regularly knocking off the big V8s. Mark Walker caught up with him after the first round of the Sport Sedan State Championship at Queensland Raceway.

Mark Walker: You had a good day today.

Gary Hamilton: Yeah, we had a good day, a very successful start to the year. This year we are looking at the championship, so we couldn't really have asked for a better start to the season.

MW: What are your plans for the year?

GH: At the moment we are trying to get into Formula Ford, because I really want to get somewhere in Australia, and you really can't do that in the car we have got. I've got it for sale at the moment, and I'm going to keep running it in the championship. Depending on wether I sell it or not will decide how far I go in the championship.

MW: What sort of Formula Ford are you hoping to get into?

GH: It would really have to be an older model, because of the money factor- we'll be flat out being able to afford one in the first place. We'd probably look at something like a 91 or 92 Van Dieman; they are at a pretty good price these days.

MW: What are your plans beyond Formula Ford?

GH: We are talking to a few V8 Supercar teams about running in the Konica Series. They've heard of me, or have seen my driving, and would like to see me in one of their cars, as so would I. It's just a matter of finding a sponsor who would come up with the money. So the aim there is to get into Formula Ford, show some good form there and get into a V8 Supercar.

MW: What makes the Datsun go so fast?

GH: Nothing really! It's all pretty old, all of the shocks are buggered, you can pull them out and push them up and down. It's still has it's full chassis- it isn't a space frame, but it's light and it has a decent amount of power.

MW: Why did you pick the Datsun?

GH: It was originally built in 1988, and it looked a fair bit different to what it does now. From when it was built until now it has been raced, and no one has done anything to it at all- it was pretty messy when I got it. That' s the main reason why I bought it; it was cheap.

MW: How did you get started in Motorsport?

GH: I started last year. I was friends with Tom Horton. He has a property where we drove around in cars for 4 or 5 years, and taught ourselves to drive there. I did a little bit of karting, but no racing. Then I got the Datsun, and had my first race at Lakeside last year.

MW: What's your favourite track?

GH: Lakeside definitely- it's really good in the Datsun.

MW: Would there be much room for improvement left in the car?

GH: The main problem with it is that you can't really go anywhere with it the way it is at the moment. We'd have to look at spaceframing a lot of the front end to get some more out of it. Shocks would probably be the next improvement to be made to it.

-Mark Walker

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Series Road racing
Drivers Mark Walker