Wilson Security Racing / DJR Falcons continue good form at Armor All Gold Coast 600.

17.gc600.2

In front of a bumper weekend crowd of over 175,000 fans, the second leg of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 was a more sedate affair than Saturday’s race. For Dick Johnson Racing, today’s race has delivered another strong result for the #12 Wilson Security backed car of Chaz Mostert / Dale Wood and another Top 20 result for the #17 Advam Falcon of Tim Blanchard & Ash Walsh.

Qualifying saw another Top 10 grid spot for Mostert in P9. Tim Blanchard could not repeat his Saturday form and lined up on row 12 of the grid. Once again it was up to the co drivers Dale Wood and Ash Walsh to do the opening stints of the race. Safety cars would play a role in ensuring the drivers completed their mandatory 34 laps and actually extended both drivers time in the seat. Wood was first to pit on Lap 21 under Safety Car with Walsh just missing the pit lane and completing another lap. The second stint was a long one and both DJR cars were making good progress through the field. Wood was running as high as 5th and Walsh just made the Top 10 as the stops again cycled through.

It was over to Mostert and Blanchard to run the final laps and with all cars on exactly the same fuel and tyre strategy it would be a race to the flag. Mostert was immediately on the pace moving up from 15th to just miss another Top 10 berth, a P11 backed up nicely his P9 from Saturday.

Blanchard was not able to capitalise as he felt he may have damaged a rim on one of the big kerbs on the Gold Coast track and had to drive with a heavy vibration for the final 20 odd laps. He would cross the line in P16, benefiting from late race accidents for Courtney and Moffat.

 

#17 – Advam Falcon – Tim Blanchard

“Not as good as yesterday, but we pushed on well. Ash did another great, and long, opening stint and we were in good shape. I think I bent a rim on one of the big kerbs on the last restart and it made the car a handful with a big vibration through the steering wheel. But the car is straight and we have some good points from the weekend. We are getting more competitive at every outing, the last couple of rounds in particular. I am looking forward to Phillip Island later this month.”

#17 – Advam Falcon – Ash Walsh – Co Driver

“We didn’t quite have the car we had yesterday. The start went well and I just wanted to keep out of trouble in those early laps. Our strategy just missed the opportunity to pit at the first Safety Car and I had to run another lap. It cost us track position but staying out longer in the second stint did give us back quite a few positions. We just didn’t have the pace at the end when everyone was on the same strategy. It has been a great experience to race the #17 DJR Falcon with Tim. To get good results at Bathurst and here made up for the Sandown hiccup!”

Wilson Security Racing Falcons score Top 20 results, after a challenging Armor All Gold Coast 600 race.

17.gc600.1

The Armor All Gold Coast 600 threw up a myriad of challenges for the DJR / Wilson Security Team but both the #12 Falcon of Chaz Mostert / Dale Wood and its sister car the #17 Advam Falcon of Tim Blanchard & Ash Walsh secured strong results. Mostert bringing the car home inside the Top 10.

It was a race of what could have been for Blanchard and Walsh after a superb Qualifying run netted a P12 starting position. Blanchard was in and out of the Top 10 with seconds to spare and pushed hard on his final laps. Not so happy was Chaz Mostert who would line up in P23 after encountering a front end problem.

All but five cars elected to start their co drivers so it was Dunlop Series stars Walsh and Wood who would take the green light. A minimum requirement of 34 laps from the race distance of 102 ensured the co drivers would have to undertake at least two stints behind the wheel.

With Safety Cars expected, this strategy would work well for some but not for others. The #17 Advam Falcon was in trouble as the clutch went away on the practice start then all together at the race start. With this problem, Ash Walsh was doing a great job and was on the move from the word go and broke into the Top 10 by the time the first safety car was called on Lap 13. Dale Wood was making slower progress in the traffic and pitted with the first opportunity. From this point mixed fuel and pit stop strategies would be the order of the day.

The race became quite topsy-turvy from this point with cars running at the front then dropping way down as they cycled their pit stops. Wood handed over to Chaz Mostert and despite the Wilson Security Falcon showing some battle scars on the bonnet had pushed well up into the Top 15. A great effort from so far back.

Walsh and Blanchard too were hovering well in the Top 10 until tragedy stuck Tim at his final stop. The failed clutch meant that the starter motor was being used to get the car away from the pit box, but at Tim’s last stop it cried enough. This put paid to a fine run from the young pair and relegated the car back to P19 at the flag.

Sunday will see another 300km event with a fresh Qualifying session in the morning.

#17 – Advam Falcon – Tim Blanchard

“I was very happy with Qualifying delivering the team my best result this year. Ash did a great job early on keeping the car inside the Top 10 for most of his stint. We lost the clutch from the start but we drove around it, but we had to use the starter motor to get the car moving at each stop. Unfortunately at the last stop it had enough. We are pretty gutted – the Advam Falcon was really good today and a solid place in the Top 10 on pace was on.”

#17 – Advam Falcon – Ash Walsh – Co Driver

“From the practice start I had a clutch problem, which at the Green Lights became a clutch failure. So we were pretty lucky to get away cleanly. We settled into a good race pace and found the car was really quick and able to run inside the Top 10 even allowing for others pit strategies. The second Pit Stop threw up another problem when my cool suit hose got stuck in the seat so we dropped some time and it did force a slight change of strategy. Tim jumped in and we could see the starter motor issue getting worse, and in the end it cost us a Top 10. Still, I think we showed today that we really can run in a very good race position.”