Introduction

Ash Walsh

Ash Walsh is a driver in the 2014 Dunlop V8 Supercar Series. The Dunlop Series, formerly known as the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Development Series, is the second tier V8 Supercar Series in Australia. Ash will compete in the 2014 series in a Matt Stone Racing Ford Falcon. To keep up to date with Ash’s racing, be sure to visit this site regularly.

Find out more about Ash Walsh

Top step of the podium for Ash Walsh at Winton Dunlop Series round.

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Infants’ Friend V8 Supercar driver Ash Walsh has won the second round of the 2014 Dunlop Series with a flag to flag victory in Race 2 today at Winton Motor Raceway. After yesterday’s first race Walsh was to start in eighth spot due to the Top 10 grid inversion. The MSR team made adjustments to the car between the two races aiming at improving tyre life over the tricky 3km circuit.

Walsh was in fact speaking about a conservative approach to the race to ensure all important points in the second round of seven in the 2014 Dunlop Series. But that thought was short lived as Walsh staged an amazing start to lead the first lap. The Ipswich based driver stunned the pit lane with his start with V8 Supercars course commentator Chad Neylon suggesting he was on a rolling start whilst the field were on a standing start.

The longer race format is favoured by the leading drivers and Walsh set about quickly building a gap to Paul Dumbrell and focussed on managing his tyre wear over the 25 lap journey. There was all the usual spins and barging behind Ash, but in clear air he was able to dictate the pace, including a restart after a Safety Car period.

Dumbrell came to within 3/10ths of second of the Infants’ Friend Falcon, but Walsh was managing the race and ran this gap out to around 2 seconds at the chequered flag. At a track where Matt Stone Racing and Walsh would have been happy to be on the podium, a round win was icing on the cake for the hard working team.

Round 3 of the Dunlop Series takes place in Perth in mid May.

        

#87 – Ash Walsh – Infant’s Friend Falcon FG

“We had a good start yesterday but today was quite amazing. We have adjusted the start procedure a little but it was a rocket off the line today. I wasn’t really looking at the other cars; I just wanted to be sure that I got clear of Andre so I could turn in cleanly. The points have been really good for us this weekend; we are only 20 or so behind PD (Paul Dumbrell). Winton has always been a bogey track for us. We have struggled here over the last two years. We actually came here expecting to do well, but looking at our history here a round win was a big ask! It is still very early in the season so a lot can happen, but so far so good. I am really happy for the MSR boys. It is great result for the team and our sponsors.”

 

Walsh heads to Round 3 in second place overall in the 2014 Dunlop Series Championship.

 

Ash Walsh is proudly supported by Infant’s Friend, AusBlue, G. J. Walsh & Co and Revolution Racegear, Green Legion, Magical Memorabilia and Media Glue.

 

Third place is great reward for Ash Walsh in hard fought Dunlop Series race one.

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Ash Walsh has crossed the line in third place after the first 25 lap race in Round 2 of the 2014 Dunlop Series. Qualifying was a hectic affair but the Infants’ Friend Falcon slipped a little down the time sheets once the second set of tyres were fitted as those around him went marginally quicker. A third row starting position on the grid did little to stop the MSR Ford, as Walsh exploded of the line to be in second position by the third corner. A four spot gain was just what Walsh wanted and he settled into chasing down the pole sitter and Clipsal 500 adversary Cam Waters.

The race at the front was stable for many laps with Waters from Walsh and further back series returnee Steve Owen. Daylight separated these three back to a big battle pack from fourth to fourteenth.

The longer races this year bring lapped traffic into play and it was exactly this that caught Walsh out on Lap 19 when he had to under a slow car into Turn 11. Off line the track was very dirty and the Infant’s Friend Falcon missed the apex only to bang panels with a fast closing Steve Owen. This put Walsh back to P3 which he held till the flag.

The second race of the weekend inverts the Top 10 positions so Walsh will start from Position 8.

#87 – Ash Walsh – Infant’s Friend Falcon FG

“It was a great start off the line! We struggled a bit with starts last year so I was happy to get away well and get clear of the guys who were in a big pack. The first two corners panned out really well and I was able to capitalise on it. I then set about chasing Cameron, but they are just a bit too strong here. I was running for much of the race by myself but then got tripped up by a backmarker. I ran off the track and Owen gave me a touch up in the last corner. Third is still really good for the Championship points. The next race is not about trying to barge our way to the front it is about focusing on the Championship and ensuring we leave Winton with a good bag of points.”

Today’s third place moves Walsh into second overall in the 2014 Dunlop Series Championship.

 

Pos  Driver                          Total

 

1    Paul Dumbrell               390

2    Ashley Walsh                356

3    Andrew Jones               339

4    Cameron Waters          327

5    Taz Douglas                   311

6    Andre Heimgartner      282

7    Garry Jacobson             279

8    Paul Morris                   276

9    Chris Pither                   273

10   Ant Pedersen              228

Ash Walsh is proudly supported by Infant’s Friend, AusBlue, G. J. Walsh & Co and Revolution Racegear, Green Legion, Magical Memorabilia and Media Glue.

 

Ash Walsh grabs a Podium spot after on track clash in Dunlop Series Adelaide round.

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Ash Walsh went into Race 2 of the Dunlop Series round at the Clipsal 500 confident of another strong showing having banked a Pole Position in the morning Qualifying. The front row of the grid was the opposite of Race 1 with the Infants’ Friend FG Falcon in position 1 and main rival Cam Waters in position 2. Waters grabbed the advantage at the green light and led Walsh into Turn 1. These two began to ease away from the field with former series champ Paul Dumbrell in third.

The race was run under the new 2014 regulations of longer races and lapped traffic and a setting sun would all become factors towards the end of the race. For 22 of the 26 laps, Walsh sat in the shadows of Waters; the gap fluctuating but Ash was always in striking distance. The race was turned on its head however when the two leaders arrived behind rookie Dan Day at Turn 1. Waters was held up and Walsh was all over the back of the FPR Ford. Waters struggled to get the car stopped at Turn 4 leaving a gap that Walsh pounced on. As they headed out of Turn 4 Walsh’s lead was short lived as the two Falcons clashed. Waters was into the side of Ash spinning the Infants’ Friend Ford and damaging his own car in the process. Walsh gathered it up and pressed on whilst Waters was out.

The MSR crew urged Walsh to keep going and despite a damaged car, Ash crossed the line in 6th and a spot on the podium. Paul Dumbrell and Taz Douglas were the big winners and took the first two steps of the podium. Walsh was pleased to ensure a solid point’s haul but clearly disappointed in the way the race unfolded.

#87 – Ash Walsh – Infant’s Friend Falcon FG

“The car has been really good all weekend and it was clear that whoever got the jump was in the box seat. I tried like hell to make the car the best I could with bars and bias to try and have a crack at Cam, but he was quick today. We went into Turn 4 after catching the back markers and Cam made a mistake so I went up the inside and thought I was clear as we exited but we hit wheels on the exit and I was turned around. I was on the limit the whole race and we were both under the lap record. It is shaping up for a big year. A good weekend overall for the MSR boys and I am happy to be in the title hunt.”  

The Dunlop Series now heads to Winton in April for Round 2.

Ash Walsh in dominant form in Dunlop Series opener in Adelaide

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Infants’ Friend V8 Supercar driver Ash Walsh has opened his assault on the 2014 Dunlop Series in scintillating form dominating practice, qualifying and taking the win in Race 1 of the weekend.

A 30 car strong field has lined up for Round 1 of the Dunlop Series as the main support for the Clipsal 500, and Walsh made his intentions known from the very first session on Thursday. The Ipswich based driver topped the time sheets in both the practice sessions and was confident that the changes the Matt Stone Racing crew had made to the Infants’ Friend Falcon during practice would deliver a good Qualifying run.

Just 1/10th of a second however was enough to put Walsh into P2 for the first race, but a front row grid start was all he needed to stamp his authority as the field raced down the Turn 1 Senna Chicane. Walsh jumped well and led Pole sitter Cam Waters pulling out a 1 second lead on the first lap.

This fluctuated between one and two seconds, and Ash looked to have the race under control. The late afternoon sun was very strong in the run up to Turn 3 and as so often occurs a Safety Car was called with just a handful of laps to run.

Walsh backed the pack up and jumped keeping his advantage to hold out a fast finishing Waters and Paul Dumbrell in a well judged race. A delighted Walsh returned to the pits to a very happy MSR crew and also welcomed new sponsor AUSblue in the team celebration.

#87 – Ash Walsh – Infant’s Friend Falcon FG

“The car has been fantastic every time we have been on track so far this weekend. We have been in the Top 2 in every session, but we just missed Pole in the first Qualifying. Going into tomorrow I hope we can rectify some of the small issues we had, but it has been really good so far. The car was a really good race car over the distance tonight; it was very fast even in the last few laps. I was a little wary when the Safety Car came out, but got a good restart and made the gap on the run to the flag. Early days, but a great result for the Infants’ Friend Falcon.”  

The final Dunlop Series race will be run on Saturday at the Clipsal 500.

 

ASH WALSH & INFANTS’ FRIEND TEAM UP AGAIN WITH MATT STONE RACING FOR 2014 DUNLOP SERIES CAMPAIGN.

Ash Walsh, the 2013 Dunlop Series runner up, has announced today that he has renewed links with major sponsor Infants’ Friend and the Matt Stone Racing Team for 2014. With many options available, Walsh and his team worked through a number of scenarios before once again signing with the young Queensland based team. It will be Walsh’s third full year in the V8 Supercars Development Series on top of a number of starts in 2011.

Capitalising on the continuity of 2013, Walsh was very pleased that national pharmaceutical company, Infants’ Friend would continue the successful association launched in 2013. The 26 year old Ipswich based driver will again run the #87 ex Stone Bros FG Falcon for the Matt Stone Racing team after a very successful season in 2013, where he scooped second outright in the ultra-competitive Dunlop Series. Walsh was delighted to announce an expansion of the relationship with Infants’ Friend sighting the continuity of sponsors and team will give him the best opportunity yet to take the Championship.

“We are really happy that the Infants’ Friend team reviewed the results of 2013 and are coming with us again in 2014. They worked the sponsorship very hard with retail and trade promotions and it has paid off.” Walsh said. “The Dunlop Series this year will be super competitive so to be able to stay put with Matt Stone Racing with increased sponsorship support is a great outcome. I can’t wait to get to Adelaide as it is a fantastic event”  Ash added.

Infants’ Friend Managing Director Neil McPhillips outlined the primary objective of the sponsorship at the launch. “We have an Australian range of very successful baby products that have been around for nearly 80 years. I said in 2013 that we had a great opportunity to connect with young families with V8 Supercars and we were proven right. On top of this it has given our brand exposure in markets we don’t normally access thorough our retail promotion. The feedback from our sales force in 2013 was very strong. I think there were a few people that were surprised with a product like ours partnering a motor sport team but we believe it is a very sound and successful marketing strategy.” McPhillips said.

MSR boss Matt Stone was delighted to re-sign Walsh for 2014. “2013 saw MSR put two cars in the Top 10 in the Dunlop Series point score with Ash doing a great job to come second overall. There were some great highlights including the Round win in Perth, race podiums and a Pole Position at the final in Sydney. MSR is firmly now one of the major teams in the Series and to sign Ash again is a great thing for us. There is no reason why we can’t challenge at every race for podiums and wins and ultimately the Championship.” Stone said.

The first round of the 2014 Dunlop Series for V8 Supercars will be run at the Clipsal 500 in just over 8 weeks’ time.