WALSH WINS WINTON
Queenslander Ashley Walsh has gotten his 2010 Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship back on track in the best possible fashion, winning round three aboard the SES Linear / King's Fibreglass Spectrum 012 at Winton Motor Raceway at the weekend. "That is a real relief," said the Ipswich resident. "We haven't had the best start to the Championship, sitting in 9th after the first two rounds. But we have moved up to 3rd and only 15 points off the leader after winning at Winton," Walsh added.
Walsh knew this round would be tough, but was prepared for the challenge. He posted the 2nd fastest time in Friday practice and qualified 3rd on Saturday morning. "Pole would have been nice, but we can race from 3rd," he said. And that is exactly what he did, moving up to finish 2nd behind the Synergy Motorsport Spectrum 012 of Chaz Mostert. "I'm pleased with 2nd. Chaz and I were running at almost identical pace, so there wasn't a good opportunity to go for a pass. My only chance was going to be if he made a mistake, which he didn't. We're off the front row tomorrow, so we'll see if we can get him off the line!" Ash commented. Walsh posted the fastest lap of the race and Chaz the 2nd fastest, with both improving their starting positions.
Ash went on to win both of Sunday's races in very similar style. He made superb starts to lead into the first corner and then was never headed. "Mike (Borland) had the car working so well that I was able to really push on the first lap when the tyres were cold. We built almost a full second lead on the opening lap and could then control the race from the front," Walsh stated. It was a class display under extreme pressure from Mostert. "Chaz was just far enough back to be unable to make a move, but I couldn't shake him either. All in all, it was a great weekend for us and pleasing that Chaz made it a Spectrum 1-2 for the weekend. He's leading the Championship, but I think we can reel him in!" Ash said.
When asked about the Spectrum's return to form at Winton, Walsh said "I've been asked that a couple of times this weekend and it's really funny. No-one seems to remember that Chaz and his Spectrum smashed everyone at the GP for round 1. And Chaz was the quickest on Friday at round 2, with him and my rookie team mate Ben the fastest cars in races two and three there as well. The pace in the Spectrum has well and truly been there. We just put everything together this weekend and got the results we deserved."
The Championship takes a five week break now, before making the long trek to Darwin and Townsville for rounds four and five. "The next round will be really tough. I've never seen the Hidden Valley circuit and Chaz has, so he's going to be really hard to beat there. None of us has been to Townsville, so that will be more of an even footing. We'll give it our all and see where we end up!" said Walsh.