The hope of an upfront qualifying result for Infants’ Friend V8 Supercar driver Ash Walsh evaporated after just one lap this morning when a power steering failure sidelined the car. For Walsh and the Matt Stone Racing team it was a setback, but the team responded brilliantly in the first 14 lap Dunlop Series race.
Starting in 30th place Walsh guided the FG Falcon up 20 places to finish in an outstanding 10th place and snare a front of grid starting position for Race 2 on Sunday. The race was not an easy affair however with crashes and spins by many Dunlop Series runners, but Walsh maintained his composure and threaded through with some strong passing and near misses.
The race was interrupted by a Safety Car period on Lap 6 which bunched the field and gave Ash the chance to again pick off a number of cars in front of him. He had already made up 11 places by this stage but then started to move on some of the faster runners. In a matter of two laps he was up another 6 positions and the chance of a Top 10 finish was looking real.
On the final lap, Walsh was promoted another two spots when Taz Douglas & Heimgartner got together at Turn 2 cementing the Infants’ Friend Falcon into 10th position. With Race 2 inverting the Top 10 from Race 1, Walsh will start on the front row on Sunday morning.
QUOTE BOOK: #87 – Ash Walsh – Infants’ Friend FG Falcon
“I am really happy to drag the Infants’ Friend Falcon back into the game after qualifying. We had a major steering issue but I think all the MSR guys had a target set on getting back into the Top 10. It was a crazy race. I had to pick my moments to pass and commit 100% to it or risk being spun. There were cars going every which way, but I did get some luck and got the spots back. I don’t think I would have caught Taz and Andre from 12th on the last lap and then I saw them getting into each other in Turn 2. It was great for the guys to get the result. It was all about minimizing the point’s loss so I can really have a crack now at winning Race 2 now. With the soft tyre now on for Race 3 it is anybody’s race!”