Despite a spirited fight-back, David Sieders has slipped to eighth in the Auto One V8 Ute Series – protected by Armor All at Barbagallo Raceway (WA) this weekend, 4-6 May 2012.
Sieders had made it up to third place on the ENZED Leaderboard after Qualifying, but a braking issue saw his iseek Communications-backed Ute bogged in Race One, and the 2011 Championship Runner-Up was left to claw his way back through the field, and now sits 74 points from the lead.
“What a tough weekend, and two days of what could have been,” said Sieders, “we’ve got a great car but we’ve had two rounds now that have had us fighting to walk away with any real points”.
“Coming off in Race One, just like at Adelaide, meant we couldn’t really get near those bonus points for the Top Three places,” said Sieders, “we can’t afford to have any more big points losses if we want to have a shot at winning this Championship.”
On Saturday morning, Sieders set the tone early, posting his fastest lap on his first flyer, but was unable to improve on his time with a suspected loose rear hub repeatedly causing the brakes to lock-up, and was only bettered Kim Jane part way through the session.
“I kept locking up throughout Qualifying and couldn’t really get the best out of the car,” said Sieders, “to finish sixth-tenths off pole and stay on the front row was good, but really frustrating to think what time we could have set.”
In the opening race of the weekend, Sieders got a great jump from the front row and lead the field through the first corner, but was unable to hold off pole-sitter Kim Jane through the esses.
Tussling with Nathan Pretty on lap three, Sieders’ Qualifying issues arose again, and he found himself locked up into turn seven and beached, eventually finishing the race in 29th after being retrieved from the sand trap.
“We thought we’d resolved what seemed to be a loose hub in Qualifying, but it turned out to be worse than thought and had the brakes locking up again in Race One.”
“Coming into turn seven it didn’t make sense that I wasn’t pulling up on the dry line, but there was nothing I could do,” said Sieders, “I’m just lucky it happened where it did so that I was pulled out and able to rejoin the race”.
Coming from near the rear of the grid for Sunday Morning’s Race Two, Sieders made his way swiftly through the field, moving up 11 places in a shortened race, which had the Safety Car out from the opening lap.
“I thought I had a shot at taking the Hard Charger award again, until I was told Walton had won the race,” said Sieders, “we were making good progress through the field, but just ran out of laps to get further up the order”.
In the final race of the weekend, Sieders found himself starting inside the Top 20, and, with a relatively good set of tyres, made his way through the field again to finish in tenth position.
“We had some really good tyres for the last race, and found our way into the Top Ten,” said Sieders, “the car was really good, but the results really don’t do it justice”.
The next round of the Auto One V8 Ute Series will take place at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin, 15-17th June 2012 – catch all the action from this weekend in Network Seven at 12:30 on Saturday, 12th May.
“We’ll be throwing absolutely everything at the Darwin round, and hopefully get this year right back on track.”