Barbagallo Super2 drought-breaker Ash Walsh has revealed that his father in fact helped organise his return to Matt Stone Racing without him knowing.
Walsh has reunited with the Queensland-based team with which he finished runner-up in the Dunlop Super2 Series in 2013 and third in 2014, before a short-lived run as a full-time driver in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
He has raced as a Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver with Brad Jones Racing since then, but had scaled back other racing until stepping back into the Super2 ranks this year.
Even then, Walsh was asked back by Stone for the purpose of winning the second tier series after “the one that got away” in 2014 rather than merely as seat time ahead of the enduros, when he is expected to link with BJR again.
However, speaking after he took his first race and round win of his second stint in Super2, at last weekend’s Pirtek Perth SuperNight event, the 31-year-old revealed that it was in fact his father who was instrumental in making the drive happen even if he was not aware of the talks as they happened.
“Obviously I didn’t think that I would be racing again full time at all, to be honest,” said Walsh.
“I’ve gone another direction with career and pretty happy with what I’m doing so to get the call-up, pretty last minute, with Matt, I actually thought that it wasn’t going to happen.
“At the start of the year my, old man had been chatting with Matt but without my knowing and they’d organised all this stuff, so anyway I’m happy to be back and I’m really glad to be in a great car and be able to fight with these guys.”
Walsh also thought a round win in Perth unlikely given that he qualified fifth for Race 1, although he finished third in that Friday night encounter thanks in part to an opportunistic move on series leader Bryce Fullwood.
MW Motorsport has in fact collected two out of five race wins courtesy of Fullwood and two out three Armor All Pole Positions thanks to Zane Goddard qualifying fastest in both sessions at Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway.
While two MWM drivers (Garry Jacobson, Alex Rullo) were mathematical series contenders all the way to the final round in Newcastle last year, MSR battled all season in a big come-down from the highs of Todd Hazelwood’s triumph in 2017.
Although not without its challenges, MSR has enjoyed a far more promising start to 2019 and Walsh is currently third in the standings at 91 points adrift of Fullwood.
“(I’m) obviously really pleased to be back here,” said Walsh after being reminded that his last race or round win in Super2 came in 2014.
“Obviously a little bit unexpected with not qualifying too well (on Friday); managed to race a little better than we qualified and turned it around in the qualifying (on Saturday), but the Nissans (MWM) are pretty quick.
“They’ve been quick both here (Perth) and at Adelaide so I’m sure it’s going to be a great fight throughout the year.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing, working on the car, we’re getting a little better each round; as you’ve seen in Adelaide and here, we’re working on the car throughout the weekend to get quicker and quicker, so we’re still learning.
“Hopefully we can learn at each round and try and put it into the car and start off a little better at the next round.”
Round 3 of the Super2 Series takes place at the Watpac Townsville 400 on July 5-7.