Sieders snatches second in the Championship, with the Round Win at home..AIS National’s David Sieders has capped off a stellar season in the Auto One V8 U
te Series – protected by Armor All, bagging position number two in the Championship, and a convincing round win on his home track at Homebush Olympic Park this weekend, 2-4th December 2011.
The 27 year-old from Londonderry in Sydney’s West placed inside the top three of every session to take his second round win of the year (by 10 points), and finished in second place in the ENZED Driver’s Championship falling 27 points short of 2011 Champion, Chris Pither.
“There’s no better way to end the year than a round win at home, especially when you only drop three points all weekend,” said Sieders, “we had the pace all weekend, and it was great to take another Pole Position, Lap Record, Race and Round Win”.
“With Pither coming into the round 55 points ahead of us, the Championship was always going to be difficult to pick up,” said Sieders, “But we did what we came to do and finish the year strongly, and we’re pretty stoked about finishing second in the Championship on only our second attempt”.
By the numbers, Sieders finished the Season with the most Pole Positions for the category (four), two Round Wins, two other Round Podiums, five Race Wins, three New Lap Records, and finished in the Top Five 14 times out of 26.
“We’ve dominated most of the key stats,” said Sieders, “but, unfortunately the title is for Series Champion, and with some poor results from others ‘helping’ us out, just as much as I got some things wrong, we just didn’t string the whole year together”.
“We finished last in two races at Townsville, which dropped us from the Championship Lead, and after the further 11 point penalty, it was an uphill battle from there,” said Sieders, “but we were one of only three cars to start and finish every session, unfortunately, so was Chris [Pither].”
The speed of the Australian Industrial Supplies XR8 Falcon was undisputed this year, frequently at the front for the start of each weekend, however, with strong results in the first points sessions, Sieders frequently found himself buried for the reverse grid race, which ultimately cost him too many points.
“The package the guys put together for me this year was an absolute rocket,” said Sieders, “we qualified on the front row five of the eight rounds, with two thirds and one fifth placing, and we won Race One on four of the eight occasions, as well as placing fourth in three others, and sixth at Sandown”.
“Unfortunately, the reverse grid really killed our Championship hopes this year, and it’s something that needs to be looked at for next year,” said Sieders, “we either just could not get through the pack, or were turned around or damaged in some way, and usually ended up around 16th”.
Starting on Pole for the fourth time this season, Sieders found himself trailing Chris Pither for the first five laps in Race One yesterday, until a slipping clutch in the Championship Winning Holden allowed Sieders to grab the lead, and although under serious pressure from Ryal Harris, he held on to take his fifth race win, and setting a new lap record (1:46.6669).
“We lost the lead off the start, but the three of us [Pither, Sieders, Harris] pulled away from the field for a real Championship Battle,” said Sieders, “after Pither fell off, Harris was right on me, dive bombing from two car lengths back into the train station, and we went side-by-side and sideways through turns nine and 10, but there was no way I was letting him through”.
The top eight finishers were reversed for Race Two, with Sieders needing to move at least 10 spots ahead of Chris Pither, who started in 13th, to keep his chances of a pick-pocket Championship alive.
In another hard fought battle, Sieders and Harris cut their way through the field, with Harris getting to the lead on lap six, but was in pit lane on lap nine and out of the race after hitting the curbs too hard, and Sieders was left with a three lap battle with eventual race winner, Rhys McNally, with the AIS National Falcon coming in second, and moving to position number two for the Championship by 25 points, but with an unassailable 39 point gap to the leader.
“We finally had another good result in the reverse grid,” said Sieders, “when I passed Harris, I knew this was our shot at getting P2 for the Championship, but we just ran out of tyre life to get the job done for the win”.
For the final race of the season, Sieders started on Pole again, with a 12 point lead for the round. With torrential rain falling, race officials decided to start the race under safety car conditions.
After three laps behind the safety car, the field was finally released to race, with turn one claiming almost a dozen cars. Before he could complete one lap, Sieders also went down the escape road at turn 11, but only dropped to third position, before the race was called a lap later – five laps short of the scheduled distance.
“Those conditions were crazy for the final race, and I found myself thinking ‘please don’t be like Adelaide’,” said Sieders, “I had McNally fly past me at turn one the restart, and find myself, along with [second placed] Cameron McConville locked up through the length of the braking zone into turn 11, and wasn’t able to get grip back in time to make the turn, so I went down the escape road”.
“I managed to flip the car around pretty quick, and all I could see was about five other cars coming straight at me, who all missed the turn as well,” said Sieders, “I couldn’t believe we rejoined in third, and I reckon one more lap and we would have been past [Gary] Baxter, but third was more than enough for the round win”.
Sieders only remaining commitment for the year is a Team Ride Day at Eastern Creek on the 21st December 2011, before breaking for Christmas and New Years.
“I love being able to show our supporters just what it’s like around the track in a race car,” said Sieders, “there’s no pressure on the day, just a lot of fun, and a great way to unwind from a great season”.
With plans to be finalised, Sieders is confident of returning to the V8 Ute Series for a third time in 2012.
“We’ve had great support from Australian Industrial Supplies, and specifically TradeQuip, Nitto, Sidchrome, Milwaukee, WIA and Starrett who are all suppliers to the Group, as well as Bisley Workwear, OneSteel Reinforcing, InFront Technologies and all of our other Partners that joined us this year.”
“We’re yet to finalise our arrangements for next year, but I’d love to be back here with the launch of the FG Ute.”