V8 driver Ash Walsh remains humble in the fast lane
THINGS just seem to keep getting better for Ash Walsh.
His win in the last round of the V8 Supercars development series was followed by his securing a drive in the premier endurance events this season - the Bathurst 1000, Sandown 500 and Gold Coast 600.
But there is little chance of his losing perspective.
A recent crash that caused him concussion, the need to still organise fundraisers to see out the season and his Ipswich Knights football mates ensure his feet remain firmly on the ground.
"Obviously it's something I've been working to for a long time," Walsh said of securing the enduro drive as part of the Dick Johnson Racing team.
"It's good to finally have it happen.
"It feels like the year's gone form strength to strength."
It didn't feel like that three weeks ago at round three of V8 Supertourers at Pukekohe, New Zealand.
Walsh didn't even reach the first corner, through no fault of his own.
"I was hit by someone who got hit by someone who got hit by someone," Walsh said.
"I went into the concrete wall at 200kmh.
"I didn't even have time to react, and hit my head really hard."
He was lucky to escape with a concussion and wants to use the next pre-race briefing to voice his concern about some of the racing involved in the New Zealand series.
"It's the second time my racing has ended out of someone else's mistakes," he said.
"I'm disappointed no penalties were given.
"I'll say something at the next drivers briefing meeting."
Every time Walsh gets behind the wheel the stakes are high, which is part of why he loves turning out each week for the Knights Metro 5 team.
"It's heaps more fun in a team environment," eh said.
"I grew up playing footy so it's good to get back into it."
Having taken out the Perth round of the V8 development series in Perth, there was perhaps less pressure on Walsh as he put his Matt Stone Racing Falcon through its paces in testing at Queensland Raceway yesterday.
"We ran some new shocks in Perth," he said.
"So we still have to go through all the ranges with them and tune up the car.
"There's still a lot of things to work on."
He may be doing well, but Walsh cannot yet escape the pressure to perform with every opportunity he gets.
The fact he still needs to raise money to complete the series is proof enough.
"It's been difficult, despite it being a good year, to earn enough to finish the season," he said.
Which is why Walsh is holding his annual fundraising dinner at Brothers Leagues Club on July 19.
The fundraiser will feature special guests, a Q and A session with Walsh himself, team owner Matt Stone and race engineer Reuben Laurenson.
There will also be raffles and auctions of motor sport memorabilia to help Walsh continue his upward progression.
"I'd like to think if I do a good job this year I can step up to the main game," he said.
"But it's never that easy.
"You don't know what drives are available and if any one wants to sign a rookie.
"There's too many variables."
For more information on Ash Walsh's fundraising dinner email Greg Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- V8 development series: Rank after 2 rounds: 1st. Next round: Townsville, July 5-7.
- V8 Supertourers (NZ): Rank after three rounds: 10th. Next round: Taupo, September 1.
- V8 Super car enduros: Sandown 500: September 13-15. Bathurst 1000: October 10-13. Gold Coast 600: October 25-27.