An impressive opening stint in the Wilson Security Sandown 500 unfortunately ended early for Ash Walsh today, the #17 Cooldrive / DJR Falcon forced out of the race on lap 35 due to a crash at the high-speed turn 6-7 complex.
Despite the disappointment, Walsh and co-driver Tim Blanchard remain positive about their chances at the Bathurst 1000 this October after showing plenty of pace in the early stages of today’s race.
Walsh had started the race strongly and climbed to 15th from his 22nd starting position at the time of the accident, one that saw him lock a front brake and run off the circuit at speed whilst caught behind Craig Baird’s Erebus Mercedes in the bumpy braking zone before turn six.
Walsh was unhurt however the car was unrepairable and retired on the spot denying the combination a potentially strong finish; however the strong pace shown by the #17 car has the duo upbeat for the forthcoming Bathurst Classic.
The Iconic Bathurst event will be held at Mount Panorama on October 10-13, with Walsh set to do double duties in the Cooldrive / Wilson Security DJR and his regular Infants Friend Ford in the Dunlop V8 Supercars series.
#17 Wilson Security Falcon
“I was following the Erebus car past one of the Nissans… It broke earlier than expected and that caught me out. I locked my front over the bumps there and it went in. The car was reasonable and I was picking off cars as I could. I wasn’t trying to do anything stupid and I wasn’t trying to make any big moves or anything, but it caught me out. It happens. I’m fine, just really disappointed for Tim and for the DJR team who have worked really hard this weekend.”
“In race trim and on a full tank and on long stints it looks like the car is really good, certainly it was this weekend, so that gives us something to look forward to. I think we would have been up for a pretty good result today and I think we will be quite competitive at Bathurst. Every time Ash gets in he’s one of the quicker co-drivers out there. He made up a lot of spots and was doing a really good job, but these things happen. There has been a lot of very mistakes by people throughout the whole field today and we have to go back and make sure we’ve done all we can to make sure we’re not one of them at Bathurst.”