The final countdown is on to this year’s Great Race, and the pressure is mounting for AIS National’s David “Sideways” Sieders as he seeks to regain control of the Auto One V8 Ute Series – protected by Armor All, at Bathurst for Round Five of the Championship, 6-9th October 2011.
Despite dominating this same round last year, the 2010 Rookie of the Year knows that past results will mean nothing when it comes to competing on the world-famous Mount Panorama street circuit.
“I don’t think there’s much in the world of motorsport that compares to winning a race in any category at Bathurst, so to win two and the round last year was just awesome,” said Sieders, “but anyone’s who been to Bathurst will tell you that the conditions can be absolutely wicked, and things that worked last year won’t necessarily work this year.”
“Last year set a pretty high benchmark for the whole Team, winning all three races, the round and another entry just off the podium, so it will be a tough job to match or better the results. But I think we’re more than up for the challenge.”
Having lead the Championship after the first three rounds this season, Sieders is keen to climb back atop the Enzed Driver’s Leaderboard, after dropping three places from the final two races of the last round.
“We’ve had a really solid year, if you take away Sunday’s races at Townsville,” said Sieders, “we had a solid lead, but with the bonnet flying up in Race Two, and damage at turn two in the Race Three, we fell a few laps down in each race, but at least we were able to rejoin and grab a few points”.
“Our wins at Bathurst last year gave us a real boost in our Championship Challenge, and hopefully we can do the same, or better, in a fortnight’s time to start climbing back up the Championship Ladder.”
The Auto One V8 Ute Series is currently being lead by reigning New Zealand V8 Ute Champion, Chris “Crispy” Pither (497 points), narrowly ahead of defending Ute Series’ Champ, Grant “Grunta” Johnson (493 points), with Ryal “The Kid” Harris leading the charge for Ford, in third place with 468 points, just ahead of the Australian Industrial Supplies Falcon of David Sieders (460 points).
“It’s disappointing to be 37 points away from Chris [Pither] and the Championship lead, but going into the last round he was the one in fourth, 27 points away from us, so things can turn around really quickly in this Series”.
“It may sound a little clichéd, but we’re continuing to approach things one session at a time, and work our way back to the top,” said Sieders, “we’re only just heading into the second half of the season, so there’s plenty of time, and over 500 points still up for grabs, so we’re by no means at panic stations”.
The V8 Ute Series are in the middle of a 12-week break, and since the Townsville Round in July, Sieders has celebrated the birth of his second child, tested in a current V8 Supercar Championship entry of Paul Morris Motorsport, and spent half a day testing at Eastern Creek yesterday with the fellow Sieders Racing-prepared V8 Utes of Andrew “Fishtail” Fisher, and Ben “Dunny” Dunn.
“I’m really itching to get back into racing,” said Sieders, “I’ve had a run in a current spec Supercar for the first time since 2006, which has really motivated me to get back into things, and yesterday was a great chance to get some miles back in the Ute, which went really well”.
The Auto One V8 Ute Series – protected by Armor All will be back into competition mode on Thursday 6th October with their opening Practice session at 1:55pm, with the second at 8:00am on Friday, before Qualifying at 2:10pm. Race One and Two will run on Saturday (11:30am and 5:55pm) with the final race of the weekend at 8:20am on the Sunday, with Races One and Three televised as live on Network Seven.
You can meet David “Sideways” Sieders and get up close to the Australian Industrial Supplies XR8 Ute at Lachlan Steel & Industrial Supplies, 1-9 Young Road COWRA (NSW), between 10am and 2:30pm on Tuesday 4th October.
“Four rounds down. Four rounds to go. I can’t think of anywhere better to get back to racing than Bathurst, and we’ll definitely be going out to post back-to-back wins at the Mountain.”