Dave "Sideways" Sieders has finished just off the podium in a tough outing that rewarded the locals for the penultimate round of the Australian V8 Ute Racing Series - fuelled by Hog's Breath Cafe on the streets of the Surfers Paradise this weekend, 24-26th October 2014.
The 30 year old from Western Sydney put in a solid effort all weekend, but couldn't make his way through the field, whilst Ryal Harris won the round by just one point over fellow Gold Coast local Jesse Dixon.
"This is a really tough place to make up any places in clean racing," said Sieders, "we didn't have a bad weekend by any means, but we've just missed the podium which is pretty frustrating".
"We qualified on the second row, but we just weren't able to make up any places all weekend with the front running very fast and making very few mistakes."
In qualifying on Saturday morning, Sieders went to the top of the sheets in the first part of the session, but got bumped down the order by the pole-setting lap of Jesse Dixon, and a late lap by Ryal Harris pushed Sieders to third.
"I was probably pushing a little too hard on the few clear laps I got, and had to abort a few times after firing through the turn one chicane, and running off at 11," said Sieders, "the car felt good, and was probably good enough for pole if I managed to put it all together".
Starting the opening race of the weekend alongside fellow Championship contender, Kris Walton, Sieders got a solid start and was pushing to move into second place before the race was cut short and finished under safety car following a major incident at the first chicane."The car was really coming on, and I was putting a lot of pressure on [Jesse] Dixon when they called the race early," said Sieders, "I reckon we could have been challenging Ryal [Harris] for the win if we went the full distance".
A Top 11 reverse grid had Sieders starting from ninth for the morning race on Sunday, but with front tyres fading early in the race he couldn't progress through the field, whilst his teammates lead home a historic 1-2-3 race win to Andrew Fisher from Rhys McNally and Jeremy Gray.
"Once the rears came on, I lost a fair amount of front end grip and made it tough to try to get through," said Sieders, "it was awesome to see that three of our cars took out the first three places. It's a great achievement for the Team, and hopefully we can turn that sort of result into a podium lockout".
In the final race of the weekend, Sieders would start from fifth place on the grid, but forced to yield to Adam Marjoram on the entry to the first chicane to avoid a collision, moving back into fifth for the race after Andrew Fisher went wide and into the wall at turn eleven, and finishing the round in fourth place.
"I was sitting on the grid and had worked out that if Rhys [McNally] got in the top three that I'd have to get in front of him to get on the podium, but that would also knock him off," said Sieders, "we finished two spots behind Rhys, and ended up one point behind him for the round and missed the podium."Sieders picked up a handful of points to now be 61 points behind Championship Leader Kris Walton when the V8 Ute Series heads to his home track at Homebush Olympic Park in December (5-7th).
"It's always great to finish the year in front of family and friends on your home track, and we won't give up the fight until race three is done and dusted, as you just never know what can happen on a track like Sydney."