.Australian Industrial Supplies’ David Sieders has recorded his second Bathurst podium in two years for the Auto One V8 Ute Series – protected by Armor All this weekend, 6-9 October 2011.
Despite suffering engine problems in two of the three races, Sieders’ credits his speed and ability across the top of the infamous Mount Panorama Circuit for his third podium of the year, albeit bitter sweet.
“I’ve never felt so disappointed to finish second for a Round,” said Sieders, “Ryal Harris had a great run all weekend, and he definitely earned the win, but it is Bathurst, and nothing compares to standing on that top step of the podium here”.
“We’ve lacked horsepower during two races this weekend, which lost me spots up heading up the mountain, but across the top I was killing the competition, and able to make up for any spots lost.”
Yesterday, Sieders started from the front row of the grid, for the second year in a row, the AIS National driver again grabbed the lead on the first lap and lead the race from start to finish.
A safety car period in the middle made for a tough 1 lap sprint to the end with Nathan Pretty closing in quickly.
“We did the same thing last year,” said Sieders, “I got a great jump on Ryal Harris at the start and we were able to get a pretty good break on the field, but after the safety car, I had [Nathan] Pretty closing in hard, and I was happy to hold him out”.
Sieders’ win in Race 1 for the weekend takes his season total to four, beating his last year total of three, with three rounds still remaining.
“I’m stoked to get another win for the season, especially here on The Mountain,” said Sieders, “it’s one of those places where they’re hard to come by, so you know you’ve earned every one of them”.
As the Race One winner, Sieders again had the task of determining the number of placed to be inverted for the reverse grid Race Two, drawing number 10 from a range of six-12.
Starting from the fifth row of the grid, Sieders’ engine problem became apparent, and the 2010 V8 Ute Bathurst winner was only able to make up two places in a safety-car free Reverse Grid Race, whilst Race One Pole Sitter Harris cut his way to the front and took his first win of the weekend.
“The Reverse Grid killed my Round Win chances again,” said Sieders, “we found ourselves down on horsepower during the race, and so it made it really difficult to make a good pass except under brakes”.
As only race points are counted for Race Three Grid, Sieders started from fourth position and had a good run through the first corner and up the mountain straight, but lost two positions on the entry to Turn Two.
Fighting his way back through the field, Sieders had a four-lap battle with Championship Leader Chris Pither, taking third position from him on the third lap, and held onto the position until the chequered flag, despite continued engine issues.
“The engine was good for about one lap, then it lost horsepower again,” said Sieders, “we had a good battle with Pither, passing him going into Lap Three, losing it up Mountain Straight after missing a gear, but gathered it back through The Chase on the same lap”.
“When [Grant] Johnson started putting pressure on Pither, they both fell back for their own battle, and let the pressure up on me, which I was not complaining about.”
Sieders’ third placing gave him a one-point advantage over Nathan Pretty, but left him six points from Ryal Harris, finishing the weekend in second, with his second consecutive Bathurst podium, and third podium for the 2011 season.
“It’s our second podium here on our second attempt, and hopefully we’ll do it again next year, but grab that top step again.”
Johnson and Pither’s battle for fourth place in the final race saw both Championship front-runners drop two places, however, Sieders remains in fourth place on the ENZED Driver’s Leaderboard, now 31 points away from the Championship lead, and with a 31 point buffer back to fifth.
“Coming into the round we were 37 points away for the Championship Lead, so we’ve been able to make up a few points, which is really important,” said Sieders, “there’ve been no penalties handed out as yet, but I’ll be interested in the outcome of any investigation on the Pither/Johnson incident that may play in our favour”.
The Auto One V8 Ute Series resumes in only two-week’s time on the picturesque Surfer’s Paradise Street Circuit, 21-23October, where Sieders will be looking to continue working his way back towards the Championship Lead.
“We had a great run at Indy last year, with Pole Position and a Podium Placing, so hopefully we can back that up like we have at Adelaide and Bathurst this year, and score some really good points.”