Top step of the podium for Ash Walsh at Winton Dunlop Series round.

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Infants’ Friend V8 Supercar driver Ash Walsh has won the second round of the 2014 Dunlop Series with a flag to flag victory in Race 2 today at Winton Motor Raceway. After yesterday’s first race Walsh was to start in eighth spot due to the Top 10 grid inversion. The MSR team made adjustments to the car between the two races aiming at improving tyre life over the tricky 3km circuit.

Walsh was in fact speaking about a conservative approach to the race to ensure all important points in the second round of seven in the 2014 Dunlop Series. But that thought was short lived as Walsh staged an amazing start to lead the first lap. The Ipswich based driver stunned the pit lane with his start with V8 Supercars course commentator Chad Neylon suggesting he was on a rolling start whilst the field were on a standing start.

The longer race format is favoured by the leading drivers and Walsh set about quickly building a gap to Paul Dumbrell and focussed on managing his tyre wear over the 25 lap journey. There was all the usual spins and barging behind Ash, but in clear air he was able to dictate the pace, including a restart after a Safety Car period.

Dumbrell came to within 3/10ths of second of the Infants’ Friend Falcon, but Walsh was managing the race and ran this gap out to around 2 seconds at the chequered flag. At a track where Matt Stone Racing and Walsh would have been happy to be on the podium, a round win was icing on the cake for the hard working team.

Round 3 of the Dunlop Series takes place in Perth in mid May.

        

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

“We had a good start yesterday but today was quite amazing. We have adjusted the start procedure a little but it was a rocket off the line today. I wasn’t really looking at the other cars; I just wanted to be sure that I got clear of Andre so I could turn in cleanly. The points have been really good for us this weekend; we are only 20 or so behind PD (Paul Dumbrell). Winton has always been a bogey track for us. We have struggled here over the last two years. We actually came here expecting to do well, but looking at our history here a round win was a big ask! It is still very early in the season so a lot can happen, but so far so good. I am really happy for the MSR boys. It is great result for the team and our sponsors.”

 

Walsh heads to Round 3 in second place overall in the 2014 Dunlop Series Championship.

 

Ash Walsh is proudly supported by Infant’s Friend, AusBlue, G. J. Walsh & Co and Revolution Racegear, Green Legion, Magical Memorabilia and Mediaglue.

 

Third place is great reward for Ash Walsh in hard fought Dunlop Series race one.

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Ash Walsh has crossed the line in third place after the first 25 lap race in Round 2 of the 2014 Dunlop Series. Qualifying was a hectic affair but the Infants’ Friend Falcon slipped a little down the time sheets once the second set of tyres were fitted as those around him went marginally quicker. A third row starting position on the grid did little to stop the MSR Ford, as Walsh exploded of the line to be in second position by the third corner. A four spot gain was just what Walsh wanted and he settled into chasing down the pole sitter and Clipsal 500 adversary Cam Waters.

The race at the front was stable for many laps with Waters from Walsh and further back series returnee Steve Owen. Daylight separated these three back to a big battle pack from fourth to fourteenth.

The longer races this year bring lapped traffic into play and it was exactly this that caught Walsh out on Lap 19 when he had to under a slow car into Turn 11. Off line the track was very dirty and the Infant’s Friend Falcon missed the apex only to bang panels with a fast closing Steve Owen. This put Walsh back to P3 which he held till the flag.

The second race of the weekend inverts the Top 10 positions so Walsh will start from Position 8.

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

“It was a great start off the line! We struggled a bit with starts last year so I was happy to get away well and get clear of the guys who were in a big pack. The first two corners panned out really well and I was able to capitalise on it. I then set about chasing Cameron, but they are just a bit too strong here. I was running for much of the race by myself but then got tripped up by a backmarker. I ran off the track and Owen gave me a touch up in the last corner. Third is still really good for the Championship points. The next race is not about trying to barge our way to the front it is about focusing on the Championship and ensuring we leave Winton with a good bag of points.”

Today’s third place moves Walsh into second overall in the 2014 Dunlop Series Championship.

 

Pos  Driver                          Total

 

1    Paul Dumbrell               390

2    Ashley Walsh                356

3    Andrew Jones               339

4    Cameron Waters          327

5    Taz Douglas                   311

6    Andre Heimgartner      282

7    Garry Jacobson             279

8    Paul Morris                   276

9    Chris Pither                   273

10   Ant Pedersen              228

Ash Walsh is proudly supported by Infant’s Friend, AusBlue, G. J. Walsh & Co and Revolution Racegear, Green Legion, Magical Memorabilia and Media Glue.