Walsh to assess fitness after Bathurst practice

Ash Walsh says he’s confident he’ll be fit enough to race at Bathurst this weekend, but will make a final call after practice tomorrow.

Walsh to assess fitness after Bathurst practice
 Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden
 Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden
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Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden
 Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Ash Walsh, Brad Jones Racing Holden

The Brad Jones Racing co-driver was involved in a frightening high-speed crash during a secret sports prototype test at Phillip Island last Wednesday, going off at Turn 1 and rolling multiple times.

He was airlifted to hospital in Melbourne and later diagnosed with extensive bruising, bad enough to put him in doubt for this weekend’s Bathurst 1000, where he’s set to share with Tim Slade.

After a week of recovery and physiotherapy in Queensland, Walsh arrived at Mount Panorama today and sat in the BJR Commodore for the fist time.

Satisfied that the pain will be manageable, he’ll now need to pass the driver extraction test tomorrow morning to prove he’s capable of extracting himself from the car.

Should he pass that, he’ll be free to take part in practice – which will be the ultimate test as to whether he’ll race this weekend.

“I had a sit in the car and everything feels like it’s okay,” said Walsh.

“Where I’m sore isn’t too bad in the car. I feel like at the moment I’m going to be fit and ready to go. [It was] better than I thought it was going to be.

“I’m just happy to be able to come here, to be honest.

“Tomorrow morning I’ve got an intercostal [nerve] blocker planned, first up in the morning, and that’ll help with the rib pain and stuff like that.

“I actually fared better than I thought I would, sitting in there. I feel like even without [the nerve blocker] I should be okay, but you can’t tell until you actually get in there and drive.”

Walsh added that his recovery had happened quicker than he expected.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but over the weekend I was like, ‘geez, it’s not really looking good’,” he said.

“I feel 100 per cent better compared to that now. Still in the mornings, overnight the swelling pools and stuff like that, so I feel about 105 when I wake up.

“But once I get going during the day I’m cool.”

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