Erebus confirms Walsh for second Mercedes
Erebus Motorsport has made its signing of Ashley Walsh official by announcing a two-year deal with the Dunlop Series front-runner.
As previously reported, the 26-year-old from Ipswich, Queensland, steps into the #4 AMG E63 currently driven by the Charlie Schwerkolt Racing bound Lee Holdsworth.
Walsh joins Erebus after a three-year stint in the second-tier series with Matt Stone Racing, which operates out of a workshop next door to the customer Mercedes squad.
Walsh already has six V8 Supercars Championship event starts to his name, achieved with Dick Johnson Racing in the Pirtek Enduro Cup over the last two seasons.
“I feel like it’s been something that I’ve worked towards my entire life really, trying to make it as a professional race driver,” said Walsh of the deal, which is understood was completed in the lead-up to the recent Phillip Island 400.
“So for me, it’s the culmination of many years of hard work and I’m very proud to represent Erebus and thankful for the opportunity they’ve given me.
“Will (Davison, team-mate) is a driver with a pretty impressive CV, so for me, I need to take all the benefits that adds and work with the great group of guys at Erebus to bring myself along as a driver.
“Obviously coming into the main series, I’ve got a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to having that opportunity.
“Without people like Betty (Klimenko, team owner) in our sport it doesn’t happen so I’m glad that I’m coming into a team that has a figure like Betty who really cares about what’s going on in our careers.
“For me, she’s given me this opportunity to come into the main series and I can’t thank her enough for it.
“Obviously next year is going to be a big learning curve for me so I’m just going to take it as it comes.
“Next year is going to be all about learning as much as I can and then hopefully from there, as we grow as a team and I grow as a driver, the results will start to come.’’
Erebus CEO Ryan Maddison says he’s looking forward to seeing the youngster perform in his first full main series season.
“Ash has consistently been one of the leading drivers in the Dunlop Series for the past few years and comes highly recommended from two of the most respected figures in the industry in Ross and Jim Stone,’’ said Maddison.
“For Erebus, Ash represents an attractive all-round package for our team and has earned the chance to take his career to the next level in the V8 Supercars field; a step that other young drivers such as Scott McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert have taken with great success in recent years.
“We believe there are similar synergies between Erebus Motorsport as a young, developing team and the point where Ash currently is in his career and we believe the best is yet to come.’’
Walsh will complete his Dunlop Series duties with MSR at the Sydney Olympic Park finale on December 5-7, where he’ll attempt to secure second in the series for a second consecutive season.
The youngster debuted in the Dunlop Series in 2011 having finished fourth in the previous year’s Australian Formula Ford Championship.