Sieders closes in on Harris after V8 Ute opener

David Sieders took the Race 1 victory

David Sieders took the Race 1 victory

The 2012 Auto One V8 Utes title will likely not be decided until the season’s final race after an exciting Race 1 on the streets of Sydney Olympic Park this morning.

David Sieders held off series leader Ryal Harris to take third, while fellow title contender Nathan Pretty also chipped away at Harris with second in a race which was won Cameron McConville, who was never headed from pole.

Harris, who was cleared of wrongdoing after yesterday’s qualifying altercation with Sieders, was squeezed wide at the first corner, dropping from sixth to ninth but escaping unscathed. The Gold Coaster had already recovered two of those places by lap’s end with an opportune move on Ryan Hansford and Kim Jane at Turn 8.

Turn 8 would become a happy hunting ground for Harris as he squeezed by Craig Dontas on Lap 2, made a daring but clean move on Andrew Fisher on Lap 4, and lunged past Kris Walton on Lap 7 – all at the same corner.

That set Harris free to attack Sieders, who had withstood Walton’s challenge, and the two made contact again at Turn 1 when Sieders missed the apex and car #8 got loose. Walton seized the opportunity by re-passing Harris on the run to the chicane, but again sidestepped an aggressive move from the Big Gun Racing pilot at Turn 8.

Sieders, however, managed to keep Harris at bay through a nervous final handful of corners, while McConville easily won the race which was shortened from 10 laps to eight and Pretty drove a lonely race to second.

Walton, Fisher, Dontas, Hansford, Gerard McLeod, and Jane rounded out the top 10. Rally ace Chris Atkinson ran in 15th for the duration.

The partial-reverse grid Race 2 will be held tomorrow at 0845, ahead of the final race of the season at 1345.

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