Bathurst 1000 regular Ash Walsh will miss this year’s Great Race due to an upcoming accounting exam.
The 32-year-old has become a staple of the Brad Jones Racing line-up over recent seasons, courtesy of a four-year run partnering Tim Slade at the long-distance races.
However Walsh won’t drive with the squad this year, having ruled himself out of a seat thanks to an upcoming Certified Public Accountants exam.
According to Walsh the primary concern is the ongoing question mark over the border between New South Wales and his native Queensland, and whether he may have had to either self-isolate or even undergo hotel quarantine after the October 18 race.
With the exam the following week, he says he decided to pull the pin on any Bathurst plans so as not to leave BJR hanging at the last minute.
“With all this quarantine stuff going on I didn’t want to burn three months of studying if I had to quarantine, or not put the right level of effort in to the exam,” Walsh told Motorsport.com.
“I also didn’t want to let Brad done close to the event. So decided to call it early enough for them to get a replacement they are happy with.
“It sucks not racing, but I feel it was the right decision to make. And the positive is that a young bloke gets a crack, which is great.”
The young bloke in question is 22-year-old Jordan Boys, the Super2 regular set to make his Bathurst 1000 debut alongside Todd Hazelwood, who replaced Slade in the #14 Holden for the 2020 season.
He’ll be joined by Thomas Randle and Jack Perkins in the BJR enduro line-up, those two paired with Nick Percat and Jack Smith respectively.
Macauley Jones’ partner is yet to be formally confirmed, although the seat is expected to go to Tim Blanchard.
Walsh has made six career Bathurst 1000 starts, his best finish a seventh with Slade in 2016.
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