The Winton SuperSprint delivered a mixed bag of results for Erebus V8 Supercar driver Ash Walsh. Qualifying for the two Saturday Sprints, showed how important grid positions are at Winton as Ash claimed 22nd for Race 1, but a backed it up with an excellent 16th for Race 2.
These two grid positions dictated Ash’s races as there was little chance to pass in the twin 20 lap journeys. Walsh was content with his progress during the day but said the team would have a re-think with car set-up overnight ahead of tomorrow’s 200km race.
“Yeah obviously it was a bit of an improvement thanks to a better qualifying session,’’ said Walsh.
“We improved the car after race 1, still struggled with tyre degradation and understeer throughout the race so we’ll have a bit of a re-think overnight.
“It’s so hard to pass here so it’s all about qualifying and that’s where the focus will be set for the longer race.’’
Sunday reverted to the 200km race with re fuelling and the use of the Dunlop Soft tyre. Another strong qualifying performance from Ash put the Infant’s Friend / AUSBlue AMG E63 in an outstanding P13. The early laps saw Walsh in a number of battles with Nick Percat, James Moffat and Lee Holdsworth. He pitted for the first time on Lap 12 and ran his second stint chasing Dale Wood’s Commodore until a Safety Car saw the whole field dive for the pit on Lap 33. A long run to the end did not see Walsh regain his qualifying position and he crossed the line in P22.
Despite the rough end to the weekend, Walsh said there were positives to take out of the meeting particularly with qualifying and a solid run in the Sunday race.
“We qualified well, and ran mid-pack during the race. I got into a few big battles and got beaten up a bit at the end which sort of shuffled us back to P2. I think we did have a car capable of running in the Top 15, but the race did not pan out for us.” Walsh commented as the Erebus squad headed back to Queensland.
The team has a month’s break to regroup before the next round of the V8 Supercars Championship in Darwin from June 19-21.