Walsh receives upgrades for rookie test

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 23/04/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Erebus Motorsport's Ash Walsh will steer an improved E63 today at Queensland Raceway, as he utilises one of his rookie test days ahead of the Perth SuperSprint.

The 27-year old graduated from the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series to the main game for 2015, and after a top 10 finish in his second race at the Clipsal 500, is keen to learn more about his Erebus Mercedes Benz and improve aspects of his racing as he heads to a track where he was victorious over the past two years in the Dunlop Series.

Walsh will run engine upgrades seen in teammate Will Davison's car across the Australian Grand Prix and Tasmania events, and with the #9 front and centre at Symmons Plains, Walsh is excited to have his hands on improvedequipment.

"We've got the upgrade to the motor ... so I have the opportunity to run that, which is focused on improving driveability," Walsh told v8supercars.com.au.

"I think we've got a few other things in terms of actual setup stuff for the car that we want to work towards as well - a bit of geometry stuff, a bit of damper stuff."

Rookie drivers are allocated two test days, additional to the single day the rest of the field has available, and Walsh is thankful of the opportunity it provides him as a developing driver.

"You get a good amount of driving, but in terms of me developing as a driver and me getting used to different setups in the car, it gives me the opportunity to run more ... and try things without the pressure of the race meeting as well.

"There's a number of things I need to work on - pit stops, starts, things I need to tidy up as a rookie driver. We'll be focusing on a lot of different areas we need to work on."

Shifting from the older specification V8 Supercar raced in the Dunlop Series to the new generation racer has been a challenge for Walsh - and the feel of the Mercedes has proven quite different to what he experienced as a co-driver in the Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon FG inthe past two years.

"It's certainly different from the older generation style car, and a little different to what I was different to at DJR too, so taking a bit of time to get used to that and finding my feet in the new environment," Walsh said.

"But I think the one hard thing is everyone's constantly improving so we need to improve as well, at the same rate as everyone else, and concentrate on the things we need work on. And that's what the testing is about."

Davison will be on hand today, the rules permitting him to drive 10 laps, so he's able to contribute to the analysis.

The #9 and former championship runner-up performed well at the last round in Tasmania, qualifying fourth twice, but was involved in some on-track incidents taking away from his race results.

His teammate'sperformance has buoyed Walsh, who would be pleased just to crack the top 10 again.

"I'm looking forward to trialing the new upgrade, certainly to see him in the top 10 in qualifying is a massive boost for me and gives me somewhere to aim.

"As long as I can try and get as close as I can to where he's going, I'll be really happy. If I can get back in the top 10 again this year, I'll be absolutely over the moon."

Erebus had planned to run a rookie day for Walsh in Febraury, but the outing had to be rescheduled because of bad weather. Today's run had been planned regardless of that.

DJR Team Penske will also be on-track today, with Scott Pye and potentially Marcos Ambrose behind the wheel, as it looks to improve its Ford Falcon FG X.

Erebus will later today announce Walsh's co-driver for this season's Pirtek Enduro Cup, which kicks off with the Wilson Security Sandown 500 in September.

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