Walsh withstands van der Linde for maiden GT win
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|