BATHURST, Australia — After a spirited stint in which he ran second to Paul Dumbrell’s Triple Eight Holden Commodore, Ash Walsh and Tim Slade’s dreams of a Bathurst upset went up in flames.
After starting fifth and working their way up to second in the first quarter of the race, Walsh came into the pits to get new tires and fuel with 53 laps complete.
During the stop the right front brake pad came out of the car, pushing the brake caliper piston out and causing brake fluid to spill onto the hot brake disc — with the fluid spectacularly catching fire as a result.
“One of the pads fell out in the change,” explained co-team owner Kim Jones, “so when they went in to pump it … it pumped the piston out.”
The No. 14 Brad Jones Racing Holden Commodore was immediately wheeled into the garage, where it was quickly worked on as repairs were made and fire extinguishing material was cleaned from the fender and undercarriage.
Slade climbed aboard during the work period, and the car returned to the race two laps behind race leader Paul Dumbrell down in 24th place.
“Timmy drove an amazing opening stint to get us into a good position and into contention there … it’s such a shame,” Walsh lamented after climbing from the car. “I had a little bit of a struggle in the first stint … but the boys made a great strategy call at the end of the first stint to have us in early and get us in front of the group we were chasing.”
“From there, we made hay, but this (bad luck) is what happens in motor racing. Everything else up to (the point of the fire) was great. It’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
“It’s extremely disappointing,” added Slade after finishing his stint just past halfway. “I think it was just a miscommunication, honestly. The car controller thought we were done; (I was) told to pump the pedal and we weren’t done. Once the pedal got pumped and the pad came out … it was on from there.”
“Ash is doing a good job out there,” he added of his co-driver. “All we can hope for now is to get some safety cars and get our laps back.”
The tandem of Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell continue to lead the race with 75 laps to go, with Tony D’Alberto running second alongside Scott Pye for DJR Team Penske.
About the Writer
Jack Cobourn is the international motorsports correspondent at Race Chaser Online, and covers the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Rally Cars and the FIA World Rally Championship.
Cobourn has been an avid follower of motorsports for years, having not missed a Formula One race in 16 seasons. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware, with a degree in history and a minor in journalism.
Email Jack at: Jack.Cobourn@yahoo.com
Follow Jack on Twitter: @JackCWriter92
Email Race Chaser Online: email@example.com
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews