Walsh wins in bizarre Dunlop Series finish

Walsh took the lead at Turn 1

Walsh took the lead at Turn 1

Ash Walsh cemented his favouritism for the 2014 Dunlop Series title by taking a controlled victory in the opening race in Adelaide.

The Matt Stone Racing Ford out-dragged pole-sitter Cameron Waters to the first corner before quickly edging away to a two second lead.

While Waters gradually closed in prior to the Safety Car being called with five laps remaining, Walsh was able to control the race to the flag after the restart.

Waters lost second place to a charging Paul Dumbrell in a sprint to the finish line, but remained classified in the runner-up spot.

The race had officially finished after the time cut-off at the end of 24 laps of the scheduled 27 laps.

The chequered flag, however, was erroneously not displayed until an extra circuit had been completed at racing speed.

An investigation into a possible jump-start from Walsh had further added to the confusion, although officials deemed that the Queenslander had no case to answer.

Dumbrell had been forced to charge through the pack after dropping to sixth in an opening lap squeeze with Taz Douglas and Chris Pither.

It took nine laps for the Eggleston Holden to clear Pither, after which the ex-Triple Eight machine made short work of Andre Heimgartner, Douglas and, seemingly, Waters.

Douglas and Pither were fourth and fifth respectively at the finish ahead of Heimgartner.

The Finance Ezi Ford had run as high as third early but did not have the pace to sustain it.

Paul Morris received a bad sportsmanship flag for excessive kerb hopping at Turn 2 on the way to seventh.

South Australian Jay Verdnik made an impressive return to the Dunlop Series in eighth ahead of Andrew Jones and Aaren Russell.

The late Safety Car had been called for a single-car incident at the Senna Chicane that saw Jim Pollicina make contact with the wall on the right-side of Turn 3.

It was meanwhile a horror race for expected front-runner Ant Pedersen, who finished 22nd after being forced to pit early for a rubbing left-rear guard.

Jack Le Brocq was another to strike problems, retiring after just two laps with a driveline issue.

A second round of Dunlop Series qualifying and Race 2 will complete the opening round of the season tomorrow.

See below for full Dunlop Series Race 1 result

1  Infants Friend  Ashley Walsh  Ford Falcon FG 35:53.4211 1:22.6181r
2  TEAM ENZED FPR  Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG 35:54.2478 1:22.4929R
3  Eggleston MS/Wilson Security  Paul Dumbrell  Holden Commodore VE2 35:54.6035 1:22.9143
4  Image Racing  Taz Douglas  Ford Falcon FG 35:57.7761 1:23.0485
5  Icebreak Racing  Chris Pither  Holden Commodore VE2 35:58.3225 1:23.3693
6  Finance Ezi  Andre Heimgartner  Ford Falcon FG 36:00.1819 1:23.0664
7  Sargent Security Racing  Paul Morris  Ford Falcon FG 36:00.9705 1:23.3062
8  THR Motorsports/S.A. Racing  Jay Verdnik  Holden Commodore VE2 36:01.6916 1:23.8425
9  Team Advam  Andrew Jones  Holden Commodore VE2 36:03.2476 1:23.4846
10  Go Karts Go  Aaren Russell  Ford Falcon FG 36:04.1033 1:23.8891
11  Eggleston MS/Wilson Security  Garry Jacobson  Holden Commodore VE2 36:04.3366 1:23.5681
12  Matt Stone Racing  Todd Hazelwood  Ford Falcon FG 36:04.9373 1:23.9183
13  Action Racing  Marcus Zukanovic  Ford Falcon fg 36:06.4516 1:23.7076
14  R&J Batteries  Geoff Emery  Holden Commodore VE2 36:09.1788 1:23.9908
15  Pacific Hoists/Halda Race Pilo  Fredrik Lestrup  Ford Falocon FG 36:09.5554 1:24.4660
16  Miraflores Estate/Haber Excava  Morgan Haber  Ford Falcon FG 36:09.9808 1:23.6753
17  THR Motorsports/S.A. Racing  Jordan Ormsby  Holden Commodore VE2 36:11.0712 1:25.3578
18  Parramatta Smash Repairs  Ryan Simpson  Ford Falcon FG 36:11.3492 1:24.0565
19  Warrin Mining Volvo Constructi  Adam Wallis  Holden Commodore VE2 36:11.9071 1:25.5141
20  Forpark/Aust Custom Moulders  Matt Hansen  Holden Commodore VE2 36:12.2296 1:25.3702
21  Dreamland Bedding  Dan Day  Holden Commodore VE2 36:07.5585 1:25.1884
22  Eggleston MS/Wilson Security  Ant Pedersen  Holden Commodore VE2 36:10.4563 1:23.4756
23  Gulf Western Oil  Michael Hector  Ford Falcon FG 36:10.7536 1:25.8953
24  Formula Tech/Interquip Racing  Brett Stewart  Holden Commodore VE2 36:12.7488 1:27.2950
25  McGill Motorsport  Aaron McGill  Holden Commodore VE2 36:17.9725 1:27.1970
DNF  Poll Performance  Jim Pollicina  Ford Falcon FG 26:18.8084 1:25.6360
DNF  Alphabet  Josh Kean  Holden Commodore VE2 16:03.9754 1:25.0115
DNF  Volight Contracting  Aaron Tebb  Holden Commodore VE2 16:37.0237 1:26.6800
DNF  Image Racing  Jack Le Brocq  Ford Falcon FG  3:05.5196 1:28.8732
DNF  Worlds Best Technology/Castrol  Josh Hunter  Holden Commodore VE2  1:38.2265 1:38.2265

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