ANXIOUS WAIT: Injured Ipswich-bred racer Ash Walsh has done everything possible to contest his fifth Bathurst this weekend.
ANXIOUS WAIT: Injured Ipswich-bred racer Ash Walsh has done everything possible to contest his fifth Bathurst this weekend. Brad Jones Racing

'It barrel-rolled four times': Ash crash halts Bathurst bid

AFTER a terrifying crash just days before Bathurst, Ipswich-bred racer Ash Walsh will know after practice this morning whether he can drive in the famous race.

Walsh, 29, flew direct from Brisbane to Bathurst yesterday afternoon accompanied by a doctor and a physio.

His Ipswich-based father Greg was in Sydney waiting to link up with Ash at the Mt Panorama circuit.

He said Ash would receive more medical treatment in Bathurst before a decision was made whether he could join co-driver Tim Slade in the Brad Jones Racing team this weekend.

"At this stage, he's still in with a shot,'' Greg said.

Ash was racing against the clock literally after his frightening ordeal testing a sports car at Phillip Island.

He was airlifted to Royal Melbourne Hospital after his airborne crash last Thursday afternoon where he rolled the test car four times.

"He's a lucky boy,'' said Greg, who has supported the former Ipswich Grammar School student throughout his motorsport career.

"He was on turn one so he was doing somewhere between 280/290km an hour.

"The impact was that severe that it just let go on him and he went backwards immediately and launched in the air for about 80 metres and landed in the gravel.

"When he's gone in and had the first hit, it's broken his shoulder strap so he started to get thrown around in the car. Then its launched and barrel-rolled four times for another 100 metres in the air before he stopped.''

Greg, a highly respected Ipswich accountant, said his son suffered severe bruising, rib cartilage damage, contusions on his lungs, whiplash and a puncture on his leg.

"The good thing was he didn't break any bones,'' Greg said.

"He was conscious through the whole incident.''

Brothers Leagues Club chairman Greg spoke to Ash before he was airlifted to hospital.

"I could tell he was in a lot of pain but I knew at least he was conscious and talking, and he knew everything that happened,'' Greg said.

Greg said his tenacious son immediately began a program to have any chance of racing this weekend.

"He was booked into the Wesley (hospital) for a couple of hyperbaric chamber sessions to try and help with the recovery,'' Greg said.

"He's had physio every day (from last Friday) and he's had acupunture and you name it.

"He's trying everything to try and recover because he's a lucky boy.''

The spectacular crash was the most serious of Ash's career as he attempts to race in his fifth Bathurst.

Greg said Ash was so determined to recover after a top 10 finish last year with the Brad Jones Racing team following stints with Dick Johnson Racing and Erebus.

Ash also has a point to prove after being controversially disqualified from the previous Sandown endurance Supercars round over confusion over the number of laps he drove when the race was shortened.

The proud Ipswich-born sportsman recently finished third driving his Audi in the Australian GT Championship.

Greg said it was up to Ash if he wanted to race this weekend.

"He knows what his limits are,'' Greg said.

"I'm just hoping for his sake that everything that he's done over the last five days is going to be enough to try and get him in the car.''

Greg also appreciated how Brad Jones Racing had looked after his son, arranging the direct flight to Bathurst before meeting with a doctor.


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