Ash Walsh grabs a Podium spot after on track clash in Dunlop Series Adelaide round.

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Ash Walsh went into Race 2 of the Dunlop Series round at the Clipsal 500 confident of another strong showing having banked a Pole Position in the morning Qualifying. The front row of the grid was the opposite of Race 1 with the Infants’ Friend FG Falcon in position 1 and main rival Cam Waters in position 2. Waters grabbed the advantage at the green light and led Walsh into Turn 1. These two began to ease away from the field with former series champ Paul Dumbrell in third.

The race was run under the new 2014 regulations of longer races and lapped traffic and a setting sun would all become factors towards the end of the race. For 22 of the 26 laps, Walsh sat in the shadows of Waters; the gap fluctuating but Ash was always in striking distance. The race was turned on its head however when the two leaders arrived behind rookie Dan Day at Turn 1. Waters was held up and Walsh was all over the back of the FPR Ford. Waters struggled to get the car stopped at Turn 4 leaving a gap that Walsh pounced on. As they headed out of Turn 4 Walsh’s lead was short lived as the two Falcons clashed. Waters was into the side of Ash spinning the Infants’ Friend Ford and damaging his own car in the process. Walsh gathered it up and pressed on whilst Waters was out.

The MSR crew urged Walsh to keep going and despite a damaged car, Ash crossed the line in 6th and a spot on the podium. Paul Dumbrell and Taz Douglas were the big winners and took the first two steps of the podium. Walsh was pleased to ensure a solid point’s haul but clearly disappointed in the way the race unfolded.

#87 – Ash Walsh – Infant’s Friend Falcon FG

“The car has been really good all weekend and it was clear that whoever got the jump was in the box seat. I tried like hell to make the car the best I could with bars and bias to try and have a crack at Cam, but he was quick today. We went into Turn 4 after catching the back markers and Cam made a mistake so I went up the inside and thought I was clear as we exited but we hit wheels on the exit and I was turned around. I was on the limit the whole race and we were both under the lap record. It is shaping up for a big year. A good weekend overall for the MSR boys and I am happy to be in the title hunt.”  

The Dunlop Series now heads to Winton in April for Round 2.

Ash Walsh in dominant form in Dunlop Series opener in Adelaide

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Infants’ Friend V8 Supercar driver Ash Walsh has opened his assault on the 2014 Dunlop Series in scintillating form dominating practice, qualifying and taking the win in Race 1 of the weekend.

A 30 car strong field has lined up for Round 1 of the Dunlop Series as the main support for the Clipsal 500, and Walsh made his intentions known from the very first session on Thursday. The Ipswich based driver topped the time sheets in both the practice sessions and was confident that the changes the Matt Stone Racing crew had made to the Infants’ Friend Falcon during practice would deliver a good Qualifying run.

Just 1/10th of a second however was enough to put Walsh into P2 for the first race, but a front row grid start was all he needed to stamp his authority as the field raced down the Turn 1 Senna Chicane. Walsh jumped well and led Pole sitter Cam Waters pulling out a 1 second lead on the first lap.

This fluctuated between one and two seconds, and Ash looked to have the race under control. The late afternoon sun was very strong in the run up to Turn 3 and as so often occurs a Safety Car was called with just a handful of laps to run.

Walsh backed the pack up and jumped keeping his advantage to hold out a fast finishing Waters and Paul Dumbrell in a well judged race. A delighted Walsh returned to the pits to a very happy MSR crew and also welcomed new sponsor AUSblue in the team celebration.

#87 – Ash Walsh – Infant’s Friend Falcon FG

“The car has been fantastic every time we have been on track so far this weekend. We have been in the Top 2 in every session, but we just missed Pole in the first Qualifying. Going into tomorrow I hope we can rectify some of the small issues we had, but it has been really good so far. The car was a really good race car over the distance tonight; it was very fast even in the last few laps. I was a little wary when the Safety Car came out, but got a good restart and made the gap on the run to the flag. Early days, but a great result for the Infants’ Friend Falcon.”  

The final Dunlop Series race will be run on Saturday at the Clipsal 500.