Team Ireland star and team-mate Gareth MacHale battle superstars at Wembley London, 14th Dec 2008; A1 Team Ireland's Adam Carroll enjoyed an action packed debut in the Race of Champions at Wembley, competing against some of the ...
Team Ireland star and team-mate Gareth MacHale battle superstars at Wembley
London, 14th Dec 2008; A1 Team Ireland's Adam Carroll enjoyed an action packed debut in the Race of Champions at Wembley, competing against some of the best-known names in world motorsport. Battling for both the Nations Cup, where he was partnered with Irish rally star Gareth MacHale, and the individual competition in the Race of Champions itself, Carroll found himself drawn against formidable talent going into his first ever stadium-based event. The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport series leader was a strong contender throughout, but ultimately found his rivals' past experience of the event paid dividends.
The Irish duo was drawn against Team Germany for the Nations Cup, Carroll and MacHale having to race against seven-times Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher and 2008 Italian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel. The German pair, who won last year's event, were once again in stunning form, Schumacher pipping Carroll in their head-to-head contest and MacHale similarly falling victim to Vettel. The two German stars went on to win their quarter and semi finals and defeated Scandanavia's Tom Kristensen and Mattias Ekstrom to retain the Nations Cup.
In the individual competition, the Race of Champions, Carroll was drawn against reigning double Champion from 2006 and 2007 Mattias Ekstrom, the 30-year old Swede recognised as an event specialist. Once again Carroll's performance was impressive but not enough to hold off Ekstrom as the two battled it out in their ROC Buggies. MacHale was similarly thwarted in his face-off with Formula One star David Coulthard, the Scot enjoying his fourth annual outing in this event and making his experience count. He went on to reach the final, where he finished second to overall winner Sebastian Loeb, the five-times World Rally Champion scoring his third outright Race of Champions title.
"This is a fantastic event to compete in and I really enjoyed myself," enthused Adam afterwards. "I was learning all the time and just wish I'd had a little more time in all the different types of car, but it was fun and of course a great experience to race against Michael Schumacher and Mattias Ekstrom as the reigning Champions from last year. Once the helmets went on it was deadly serious, of course, and very competitive, so I would love to be invited back again to have another go. Wembley Stadium is such an amazing place in which to race in front of 50,000 fans; it was really quite an experience."