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.