V8 Ute Championship tightens as they head to the Mountain‏

David ‘Sideways’ Sieders will be looking for back-to-back Bathurst titles when he hits Mount Panorama (Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000) for Round 6 of the 2014 Australian V8 Ute Racing Series – fuelled by Hogs Breath Café 9 – 12 October.

Sieders has been on podium every year he has raced at Bathurst (1st 2010 and 2013 and 2nd 2011 and 2012) and is currently running second in the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship, only 39 points behind Kris Walton. He took the lead of the championship when he took out the Round last year and is hoping to repeat that.

“It would be ideal if we could do that, but the way Kris has shattered his own records at his bad track’s he is on fire. If we do what we’ve done in the past and get no worse than second, then hopefully he might falter sometime and we might be able to grab the lead,” said Sieders.

Sieders took the lead off Nathan Pretty last year, who is currently sitting in third in the championship, and will celebrate his 100th Race start when he takes to the track for Race 1 and he is hoping it will be a big celebration.

“I didn’t realise I had done so many Ute races, it’s good to hear and to celebrate at Bathurst will be awesome. It’s one of my favourite tracks, I’ve raced there many times over the years and let’s hope I can come away with a win,” said Pretty.

Jesse Dixon has moved into 4th in the Series, after claiming his first podium at Sandown last month. The 2012 Bathurst 1000 competitor feels quite confident at the track and is looking to get some more points on the scoreboard.

“Bathurst is the best event on the calendar and was a track last year we had best overall pace so with added experience and more speed now we’re looking for a solid result in the Hayman Reese Ute,” said Dixon.

Two-time V8 Ute Champion Ryal Harris also moved up the leader board after a stellar performance at Sandown claiming the Round win. He now sits in 5th and will be getting plenty of laps behind him as he steps in to a V8 Supercar Development Series drive for the first time at the mount.

Andrew Fisher and Kim Jane will also be doing double duty at this round in the Touring Car Masters. Fisher is sitting just outside the top 5 in the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship (7th) and would love a Bathurst podium more than anything, narrowly missing out since 2009 (2013, 4th; 2012 5th; 2011 5th; 2010 4th; 2009 5th).

“The top step is the aim, I’m feeling confident with the Ute, we found a few things after Sandown and identified a couple of things in setup, so the car should have a bit more pace, we’ve always been fast there so we’ll give it a red hot go,” said Fisher.

There will be two New Zealanders racing at Bathurst including Sam Barry and Brett Rudd, this is the first time since Bathurst 2012 that the series have had more than two New Zealanders racing in the Series.

West Aussie Allan Letcher will return to the V8 Ute field for the first time since Perth last year, the V8 Drive Day Racer made history at the mountain the last time he raced there in 2009 rolling his Ute six times at the Chase, he will be in Gary MacDonald’s Ford this time, which will be run by Williams Race Tech.

Local Terry Nightingale will be the first Bathurst driver to ever compete in the Series at Mount Panorama stepping into car #43 driven by “Handlebars” Kovacs at the last Round.

Merrick Malouf and former Trans Am American driver Geoff Fane will also debut in the Series.

The V8 Utes will take to the track for two practice session on Thursday, 9th October before qualifying on Friday and three races over Saturday and Sunday. Race 2 will be televised live on Network Seven right before the top ten shootout and Race 3 will also be televised live prior to the Bathurst 1000 race.

See below full V8 Ute Schedule:Thursday, 9th October Practice 1 8:45amThursday, 9th October Practice 2 2:20pmFriday, 10th October Qualifying 8:30am Saturday, 11th October Race 1 7:45amSaturday, 11th October Race 2 4:30pmSunday, 12th October Race 3 8:20am