Walsh's endurance recognised with debut role in Sandown 500
RISING Ipswich racer Ashley Walsh will make his V8 Supercars debut with Dale Wood at the Sandown 500 in September.
Walsh and Wood will pair with Tim Blanchard and Chaz Mostert respectively in the Dick Johnson Racing team for the endurance series.
Walsh and Wood currently occupy the top two places in the Dunlop Series standings - a series that Mostert had been the favourite to win prior to his move into a full-time seat with Dick Johnson Racing.
Team principal Dick Johnson was pleased to enter the three endurance races with a youthful line-up.
"This the first time we have ever gone to the long distance races with a bunch of young guys in both cars," Johnson said.
"We have had some great names at DJR over many years including JB (John Bowe), Paul Radisich, Gricey (Alan Grice) and Alan Jones. But the team is entering a new phase and these guys (Walsh and Wood) are the future of the sport.
"There is plenty of pressure on them for sure, but we will guide them through all that and see how they perform. As a team owner I am really looking forward to it.''
Walsh said securing the drive alongside Blanchard was reward for his hard work.
Walsh, 25, is currently competing in his third Dunlop Series season. His background includes two stints in Australian Formula Ford that was split by a foray into Formula Renault in Europe.
"We have worked very hard this year to get on the radar of the main game teams," Walsh said.
"I am rapt to be making my enduro debut with a team like Dick Johnson Racing.
"I believed my Dunlop Series form would have a bearing on this season so it has now come together really well.''
THE annual fundraising dinner for Ash Walsh is next month.
The function is at Ipswich Brothers Leagues Club on Friday, July 19, from 6.15pm.
Master of ceremonies will be Neil McPhillips, who will host an entertaining night focusing on behind the scenes stories in V8 racing.
Ticket inquiries with Greg Walsh on 3812 3838.