The Armor All Gold Coast 600 threw up a myriad of challenges for the DJR / Wilson Security Team but both the #12 Falcon of Chaz Mostert / Dale Wood and its sister car the #17 Advam Falcon of Tim Blanchard & Ash Walsh secured strong results. Mostert bringing the car home inside the Top 10.
It was a race of what could have been for Blanchard and Walsh after a superb Qualifying run netted a P12 starting position. Blanchard was in and out of the Top 10 with seconds to spare and pushed hard on his final laps. Not so happy was Chaz Mostert who would line up in P23 after encountering a front end problem.
All but five cars elected to start their co drivers so it was Dunlop Series stars Walsh and Wood who would take the green light. A minimum requirement of 34 laps from the race distance of 102 ensured the co drivers would have to undertake at least two stints behind the wheel.
With Safety Cars expected, this strategy would work well for some but not for others. The #17 Advam Falcon was in trouble as the clutch went away on the practice start then all together at the race start. With this problem, Ash Walsh was doing a great job and was on the move from the word go and broke into the Top 10 by the time the first safety car was called on Lap 13. Dale Wood was making slower progress in the traffic and pitted with the first opportunity. From this point mixed fuel and pit stop strategies would be the order of the day.
The race became quite topsy-turvy from this point with cars running at the front then dropping way down as they cycled their pit stops. Wood handed over to Chaz Mostert and despite the Wilson Security Falcon showing some battle scars on the bonnet had pushed well up into the Top 15. A great effort from so far back.
Walsh and Blanchard too were hovering well in the Top 10 until tragedy stuck Tim at his final stop. The failed clutch meant that the starter motor was being used to get the car away from the pit box, but at Tim’s last stop it cried enough. This put paid to a fine run from the young pair and relegated the car back to P19 at the flag.
Sunday will see another 300km event with a fresh Qualifying session in the morning.
#17 – Advam Falcon – Tim Blanchard
“I was very happy with Qualifying delivering the team my best result this year. Ash did a great job early on keeping the car inside the Top 10 for most of his stint. We lost the clutch from the start but we drove around it, but we had to use the starter motor to get the car moving at each stop. Unfortunately at the last stop it had enough. We are pretty gutted – the Advam Falcon was really good today and a solid place in the Top 10 on pace was on.”
#17 – Advam Falcon – Ash Walsh – Co Driver
“From the practice start I had a clutch problem, which at the Green Lights became a clutch failure. So we were pretty lucky to get away cleanly. We settled into a good race pace and found the car was really quick and able to run inside the Top 10 even allowing for others pit strategies. The second Pit Stop threw up another problem when my cool suit hose got stuck in the seat so we dropped some time and it did force a slight change of strategy. Tim jumped in and we could see the starter motor issue getting worse, and in the end it cost us a Top 10. Still, I think we showed today that we really can run in a very good race position.”