Walsh races up the slippery ladder
RACING drivers enjoy wet tracks about as much as dogs do fleas.
Yet for Ipswich-based Ash Walsh, a wet track for round two of the Dunlop V8 Supercar development series in Perth enabled him to showcase his driving skills and climb the championship ladder.
Walsh qualified second fastest for the opening race at Barbagallo Raceway on Saturday, despite being in a much older model car than most rivals.
In race two starting from ninth (top 10 finishing positions from race one get reversed for race two), Walsh was able to finish seventh before a sixth-paced finish on old tyres in race three.
"It was a brilliant weekend except for the last race," Walsh said.
"In qualifying you have two sets of tyres. Our first set was quite a bit slower and we ran the slower ones in the last race.
"It didn't feel quite right.
"It was a bit of an anti-climatic finish to a good weekend."
Walsh put his improvement from round one of the series in Adelaide down to a test day his team had at Queensland Raceway in between, where they were able to set the car up to suit.
The rain didn't hurt either.
"It was a pretty big surprise," Walsh said of his successful weekend. "Conditions were atrocious. That evens the playing field."
It meant Walsh's rivals in newer, faster cars didn't have the same advantage as in the dry and driving skills came to the fore.
"With my car it is hard to finish in the top three in dry conditions," Walsh said.
"In the wet it comes down to braking late with a little bit more finesse. So I hope it opened a few eyes on the weekend..
"But there's still a long way to go in the championships.
"We need to continue on doing a good job and not get too far ahead of ourselves."
Walsh's weekend in Perth moved him from seventh to fifth in the overall standings.
He could have been higher if not for a 25-point penalty in the opening round Walsh feels wasn't justified.
But by protesting against a penalty, drivers run the risk they will be increased, so he has chosen to suck it up and get on with business.
"After Adelaide in our debrief we talked about finishing in the top five (for the series)," Walsh said. "We've done that, which exceeded our expectations after Adelaide.
"We just need to press on and show where we're at.
"A lot of things can change."