Supercars and Porsche driver Ash Walsh has secured a GT Asia race seat for this weekend’s round at Fuji in Japan.
The Brad Jones Racing endurance driver will line up with fellow Australian George Miedecke in the Miedecke Stone Motorsport Aston Martin, replacing Australian GT regular Nathan Morcom, who raced alongside Miedecke at the last round at Okayama.
Walsh’s appointment comes after the team abandoned plans to field an all-Miedecke entry, with George’s father Andrew deciding against trying to avenge a 25-year grudge with the Fuji circuit.
“We ran a 500-kilometre Touring Car race at Fuji in 1991 in our RS500 Ford Sierra Cosworth and were a long way in front when we suffered a mechanical failure,” said Miedecke Senior. “Coming back to Fuji and being competitive has been a dream of mine ever since.
“Nathan did a fantastic job at Okayama, but he has commitments elsewhere this weekend so wasn’t available. I felt that I wanted a driver in the car alongside George that was going to be as quick, or quicker, and that’s why we elected to run Ash Walsh.
“There’s no question the Vantage is still one of the best GT3 cars in the world, and I think it’s capable of running at the front. We just need to get on top of the niggling braking issue we had at Okayama, and I think the addition of Ash to the team will help us move forward more quickly.
“He’s been a race winner with Matt Stone Racing in the past, and a strong competitor at the top level of the sport in Australia, so I don’t think it will take him long to adapt to the car.”
For Walsh, who also races in Carrera Cup alongside his Supercars commitment, it will be a first proper outing in a GT3 car.
“I'm excited to be back with Matt Stone Racing and the Miedecke family, we had a great year in 2013 together in the Dunlop Series,” Walsh said.
“It will be an interesting weekend for me with a new car and track to learn, but both look exciting and I can’t wait to get there and turn some laps.
“I’ve always liked GT3 racing, but this will be my first event in a full GT3-spec car. I certainly hope it will be the beginning of many appearances in the category and I'm looking forward to doing it with a great bunch of guys.”
Van Gisbergen: Supercars set for five-wide title fight
Newcastle confirms Supercars interest