Walsh withstands van der Linde for maiden GT win

Ash Walsh

Ash Walsh fended off factory Audi driver Kelvin van der Linde to take out the opening race in Round 2 of the Australian GT Championship at Albert Park.

While the two Audis finished one-two, another came to grief after the chequered flag when Ash Samadi’s R8 turned hard right and headlong into the wall at the end of the main straight.

Walsh got a better launch than pole-sitter van der Linde and the Infant’s Friend entry exited the first corner in the lead.

Van der Linde slotted into second, staying ahead of David Russell despite the JBS Lamborghini driver arguably making the strongest start.

The top two ran within a second before Walsh pulled away on Lap 9 and again on the Lap 11, the final lap, for his first win in the championship.

Van der Linde finished 2.1s behind for Jamec Pem, while Russell faded to a distant third after initially going with the Audis.

Daniel Gaunt and Dean Fiore made for four R8s in the top five, ahead of Glen Wood in a Lamborghini.

The top six ran unchanged throughout a somewhat processional 25-minute journey, while Lewis Williamson in the Tekno McLaren finally found a way past Steven Richards on the penultimate lap to claim seventh.

Cameron McConville then threatened the #100 BMW but had to settle for ninth in the Zagame Lamborghini, while Benny Simonsen completed the top 10 in a Ferrari 458.

The race ended in drama when Samadi hit the concrete wall head-on after an apparent failure in car #3.

Samadi had made contact with Ivan Capelli on the opening lap, the former’s left-rear corner coming across the latter’s right-front and pulling bodywork off the Trofeo Motorsport Lamborghini.

Samadi had crossed the line 17th, and would extricate himself from his crashed car, while the former Ferrari Formula 1 driver persevered on his way to 15th.

Race 2 for the lower-ranked drivers in the respective cars will be held tomorrow from 10:45 AEDT.

Results: Race 1, Round 2, Albert Park

1 Supabarn Supermarkets Ash Walsh Audi R8 LMS 11 25:26.4505
2 Valvoline Kelvin van der Linde GER Audi R8 LMS 11 25:28.5821
3 JBS Australia David Russell (QLD) Lamborghini R-EX 11 25:33.1686
4 Kentucky Fried Chicken Daniel Gaunt (NZ) Audi R8 LMS 11 25:34.1472
5 Hallmarc Constructions Dean Fiore (VIC) Audi R8 LMS 11 25:41.6990
6 Interlloy M Motorsport Glen Wood (VIC) Lamborghini R-EX 11 25:54.4351
7 Tekno Lewis Williamson (UK) McLaren 650S GT3 11 25:54.9527
8 BMW Team SRM Steven Richards (VIC) BMW M6 GT3 11 25:58.0582
9 Timken Zagame Motorsport Cameron McConville (VIC) Lamborghini Huracan 11 25:58.4938
10 Rosso Verde Racing Benny Simmonsen Ferrari 458 GT3 11 25:59.2393
11 PM Motorsport Peter Major (WA) Lamborghini R-EX 11 26:06.6699
12 MEGA Racing Liam Talbot (QLD) Porsche 911 GT3-R 11 26:09.7915
13 Australian Engineered Flooring Max Twigg (VIC) Mercedes AMG GT-S 11 26:10.6200
14 Moveitnet/AFS Tony Bates Mercedes AMG GT-S 11 26:17.6664
15 Pirelli/Trofeo Motorsport Ivan Capelli (SA) Lamborghini Huracan 11 26:22.5734
16 Valvoline Tim Miles (NSW) Audi R8 LMS 11 26:24.2554
17 Team ASR Ash Samadi (VIC) Audi R8 LMS 11 26:24.8384
18 Industrie Clothing Nick Kelly (NSW) Audi R8 LMS Ultra 11 26:25.5313
19 Hogs Breath Cafe/Griffith Corp Jake Camilleri (QLD) Mercedes AMG GT-S 11 26:28.0634
20 DJS Racing Danny Stutterd (VIC) BMW M6 GT3 11 26:49.8413
21 Darrell Lea Tony Quinn (QLD) McLaren 650S GT3 11 26:52.8631
22 Maranello Motorsport Peter Edwards (VIC) Ferrari 488 GT3 11 26:55.6458
23 HHH Triffid Racing Michael Hovey (QLD) Lamborghini R-EX 11 26:55.8844
24 Scott Taylor Motorsport Scott Taylor (QLD) Mercedes AMG GT-S 11 27:03.4195
25 Objective Racing Tony Walls (NSW) McLaren 650S GT3 11 27:26.9040
26 Fire Rating Solutions Matthew Turnbull (VIC) Lamborghini LP-560 11 27:29.6833
27 AMAC Motorsport Andrew Macpherson (NSW) Lamborghini Huracan 11 27:30.5013
28 Mack Roofing Products Wayne Mack (VIC) Ferrari 458 GT3 11 27:30.8333
29 Shoal/Thomson Geer Lawyers Michael O’Donnell (SA) Porsche GT3 Cup 10 25:32.9458

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