Infant’s Friend sponsored driver Ash Walsh has notched his first win in a thrilling opening round in the 2013 Dunlop Series in Adelaide today. After a strong qualifying performance, Walsh lined up on the front row alongside Chaz Mostert. He jumped well and grabbed the lead into turn one. A lead he was never to surrender over the 20 lap journey.
The start was somewhat confusing as some drivers thought the lights indicated and aborted start, but Walsh blasted off the line and led major contenders Mostert and Dale Wood as the race unfolded. By lap 4, Ash had built a 1.5 second lead and this gap widened as the two battling Ford’s behind him got together at turn 9. With a good gap, Walsh ensured he kept his tyres in good condition as he was certain that the chasing pack would mount a final challenge.
Casey Stoner found the wall at turn 3 in his debut race but parked off line with no Safety Car deployed. Then Haber clouted the turn 8 wall hard but the race ran under yellow flags down into turn 9 for the final four laps. These laps turned out to be nail biters, with Mostert, now clear of Wood, right on Ash’s rear bumper.
The pressure was immense but the two front running Dunlop Series drivers raced cleanly for the final three laps. Walsh remained in control and took the Infant’s Friend Falcon across the line for his first Dunlop Series win.
“The race was a balance of getting a gap but managing the tyres. I thought I was controlling the race pretty well until we caught a few of the back markers and with the Yellow Flags at Turn 9 it made for a very interesting final few laps. It is the best possible way to start the year for the team and the sponsors who have helped me this year. You must concentrate on one race at a time and hopefully we can come out tomorrow and be strong as well. The MSR guys really deserved this one!” a delighted Walsh said.
Walsh now leads the point score with the final race of Round 1 to be held on Saturday at 12.45 Adelaide time.