Racer Ash Walsh could only manage a 10th place finish in the latest round of the V8 Development Series.
Racer Ash Walsh could only manage a 10th place finish in the latest round of the V8 Development Series. Rob Williams

Walsh overcomes horror weekend of racing

IT IS hard to be happy when just about every thing goes wrong.

But the fact Ash Walsh was able to salvage something from round three of the V8 Development Series in Townsville at the weekend proved his ability to overcome adversity.

Leading the series heading into the three race round at the Townsville street circuit, Walsh's expectations were justifiably high.

But experience has taught him how easy things can go wrong.

So it proved when the power steering in Walsh's Matt Stone Racing FG Falcon failed one lap into qualifying on Saturday.

It meant Walsh started the opening race from 30th spot.

But skilful driving and some good fortune got Walsh up to finish 10th.

It saw him start the next race from the front, with the top 10 finishing positions from race one reversed on the grid to start race two.

It was an ideal opportunity to gain an advantage but it disappeared as the car jumped off the line and almost stalled.

By the time Walsh got going he was 11th on lap one.

Later analysis by the MSR crew showed an airbox fire had caused the engine to lean off, causing it to nearly stall on the start line.

Walsh did well to make up three spaces and finish eighth in the 14-lap race.

"It was just about getting points really," he said.

"It was damage limitation from qualifying onwards.

"I was aggressive during races but never in danger of crashing."

The final race was over 18 laps with the added uncertainty of all drivers being on soft tyres, for the first time in the series history.

Starting from eighth, Walsh avoided carnage on the first turn, where three cars collided, but was hit by a rival on turn four and slipped back to 13th.

To make his way up to fourth by the finish flag was an impressive performance on unfamiliar tyres.

"It was just bad luck really," a frustrated Walsh said yesterday.

"A few other things happened up there as well. It seemed like anything that could go wrong did. In the end it was definitely a weekend to forget."

Yet there was a silver lining, knowing that he was able to fight back so effectively after having everything conspire against him.

"I don't feel down and out," he said. "It was just a rough weekend and means it'll be harder for the rest of the year."

Walsh has slipped to second on the championship ladder, behind Dale Wood.

The next round is at his home track at Queensland Raceway from July 26-28, where Walsh will have a lot more confidence in his car's set up, having run trials there just last month.

"At Townsville we were a little bit unsure about getting our set-up right," he said.

"I nearly ended up third in the last race. So after being 13th at the start I was more happy than anything. It shows that if we have adversity we can fight back."



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