07 JUL 2007
Colin Sieders: His future, his family and racing with a disability
COLIN Sieders, 25, lives in Yarramundi, New South Wales.
Colin is a second-generation V8 Supercar driver. His father (Bill) has been a part of the Australian motor racing scene for 25 years and Colin's older brother Luke has also raced V8 Supercars before.
Colin now races in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series in his family-run team, alongside his younger brother David.
But Colin's chances of following in his father/brothers V8 tyre tracks were never guaranteed. Colin was a passenger in a fatal car accident in his teens and spent a year of his life recovering and rehabilitating.
Ten years later, Colin is Australia's first and only disabled V8 Supercar driver.
With only 30 percent use of his left leg, Colin requires a unique 'hand-clutch' in his Ford Falcon V8 Supercar – another V8 first.
Below is a quick chat with Colin about his future in V8 Supercars, dealing with disability and competing against his younger brother ...
Where do you see your future in V8 Supercar?
Everyone would love to make it to the big time. Considering my situation, if I could become a full-time Development (Fujitsu V8) Series driver and an endurance driver for races like Bathurst, I would be pretty satisfied with that.
I'm not going to say that I'm the next Craig Lowndes, but I think I can win the Development Series. I'd love nothing more than to win that series a couple of times.
The Fujitsu V8 Series is getting bigger all the time. With the main series going to more overseas races, I can see the Development Series will end up having 10 rounds, with all the top teams involved, and maybe some professional drivers. It's going to only get harder and harder from here.
How much has your disability hindered/helped you in your motorsport aspirations?
It's hindered in trying to go and drive for a bigger team. Having to work around my disability is a bit of a barrier.
The only real advantage is that it has created a bit of media interest.
My hip and left knee are going to need work done soon. Day-to-day, I can deal with it, but it's only going to gradually get worse.
In my 30s and 40s I'll be having a few joint replacements, so it's time now to make the most of my youth!
It will be more difficult for me to be a driver in my 40s. There's no way that I'll be able to race touring cars at the age of the likes of (Mark) Skaife and (Russell) Ingall.
You are one part of a 100 percent family-run team. With so many professional teams now involved in V8 Supercar, can a family team still mix it with the big guns?
At this stage, yes. You only have to look at the Stone Brothers and see what they do. Ross and Jim are racing enthusiasts who run probably the best team in the country. While it's a professional business, they are still essentially a family team.
I think if you align yourself with a main series team, get good chassis with good engines, I can't see any reason why you can't win in the Development Series.
Our family has a long history in this sport. We have a lot of good knowledge and a strong passion, so with the right funding and the right equipment, anything is possible.
Where would you like to see the Sieders Racing Team progress to?
We all want to turn it into our career. We want to make a business out of it. And it doesn't have to be just V8 Supercars. We could easily run a V8 Ute, or a Porsche or a Mini. There's nothing stopping us from running anything.
For the time being, we are going to concentrate on our two-car Fujistu V8 team and see where things go.
Being a family full of racers, there must be a bit of competition around the house. Between Bill (father), Luke (eldest son/racer), Colin (middle son) and David (youngest son), who is the fastest?
Dave is the one we've tried to do everything right with. Dad and his mate started off by just buying a car and racing it. Luke raced trucks and then touring cars, but it was different with Dave. He went halves with Mum in his first go-kart, he did that for a few years, then he did Formula Ford, first with a good team, then with the best team. He finished third in the Formula Ford Championship, and while he would have loved to win that series, the investment worked because he was signed by Ford Performance Racing to be its test and development driver in 2006.
Who is the fastest? I guess we've put all our energy into Dave, so I'd like to see him become the star of the family.
For further information about the Sieders Racing Team, visit www.siedersracing.com.au