Ash Walsh snatches Dunlop Series pole

Ash Walsh pounces late to claim Dunlop Series pole position

Ash Walsh pounces late to claim Dunlop Series pole position

Ash Walsh has given himself a great chance to close the gap in the Dunlop Series title battle after securing pole position with a last ditch effort.

In a session full of incidents and controversy, Walsh stayed out of a trouble and grabbed pole by eight hundredths of a second with his last flyer.

Steve Owen will start alongside the Ford Falcon driver on the front row despite being caught up in a collision with Todd Hazelwood, which brought out a second red flag.

The vastly experienced Owen had held provisional pole at the time of the incident and he took no further part in the session.

Championship leader Dale Wood was third fastest just a tenth ahead of Jack Perkins, who topped both of Friday’s free practice encounters.

It was Perkins who edged the early exchanges as qualifying began with Triple Eight Racing Engineering’s Casey Stoner (Pirtek Holden) holding a place in the top six up until the halfway stage.

Owen made a slow start to the session due to smoke pouring from the rear of his Falcon, but a visit to the pits solved the issue.

He soon moved up to second once he found his rhythm.

The red flags flew for the first time at the halfway mark when Rodney Jane clouted the tyre wall hard at the chicane. This followed a 180 degree spin for Taz Douglas.

Shortly after qualifying resumed, Owen popped in a time to shoot to the top of the timesheets while Wood moved above Perkins into second.

With five minutes remaining, the session was halted for a second time following a collision between Owen and Hazelwood.

The two cars made contact at the chicane result in Hazelwood being pushed into the fence hard. Owen limped back to the pits and took no further part.

Walsh saved his best until the dying seconds of qualifying to snatch pole position from Owen by eight hundredths of a second. Wood eclipsed Perkins for fourth and will start directly behind his title rival.

Stoner’s early promise faded in the final quarter of the session and he will start from 13th on the grid.

See below for full Dunlop Series qualifying results

1 Infants Friend Ashley Walsh Ford Falcon FG 1:29.1191
2 Sherrin Rentals Steve Owen Ford Falson FG 1:29.2046 0:00.0855
3 GB Galvanizing/Wilson Security Dale Wood Ford Falcon FG 1:29.2701 0:00.1510
4 Eggleston Motorsport Jack Perkins Holden Commodore VE 1:29.3737 0:00.2546
5 Image Racing/Arvo Taz Douglas Ford Falcon FG 1:29.7427 0:00.6236
6 Kitten Racing Andrew Jones Holden Commodore VE2 1:29.8520 0:00.7329
7 Icebreak Racing Chris Pither Holden Commodore VE2 1:29.9347 0:00.8156
8 Linde Material Handling-Enzed Cameron Waters Holden Commodore VE2 1:30.0051 0:00.8860
9 Tony D’Alberto Racing Nick McBride Ford Falcon FG 1:30.0349 0:00.9158
10 Go-Karts-Go Aaren Russell Ford Falcon FG 1:30.2065 0:01.0874
11 Finance Ezi Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG 1:30.2383 0:01.1192
12 Go-Karts-Go Drew Russell Ford Falcon FG 1:30.3296 0:01.2105
13 Triple Eight Race Engineering Casey Stoner Holden Commodore VE2 1:30.3735 0:01.2544
14 R&J Batteries/NDD Geoff Emery Holden Commodore VE2 1:30.4158 0:01.2967
15 I Seek George Miedecke Ford Falcon FG 1:30.4365 0:01.3174
16 Action Racing Marcus Zukanovic Ford Falcon FG 1:30.6092 0:01.4901
17 Sargent Security Racing Paul Morris Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.2713 0:02.1522
18 Rodney Jane Racing/Sonic Rodney Jane Ford Falcon FG 1:31.4937 0:02.3746
19 Haber Excavation/MiraFlores Morgan Haber Ford Falcon FG 1:31.9514 0:02.8323
20 Rodney Jane Racing/Sonic Gary Jacobson Ford Falcon FG 1:32.0633 0:02.9442
21 Shannons Supercar Showdown Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.0822 0:02.9631
22 Schweppes Aust./Rev Trans WA Brett Hobson Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.1541 0:03.0350
23 Poll Performance Jim Pollicina Holden Commodore VE 1:32.8786 0:03.7595
24 Gulf Western Oil Michael Hector Ford Falcon FG 1:33.4959 0:04.3768
25 Finance Ezi Racing Maurie Pickering Ford Falocon FG 1:33.5444 0:04.4253
26 Rev Trans WA Aaron Tebb Holden Commodore VE2 1:33.8987 0:04.7796
27 Formula Tech/Interquip Racing Brett Stewart Holden Commodore VE 1:34.1602 0:05.0411
28 Resi Home Loans Aaron McGill Holden Commodore VE2 1:34.1683 0:05.0492
29 Pacific Hoists & Hitachi Nandi Kiss Holden Commodore VE 1:36.5586 0:07.4395

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