Durban: Team Ireland Saturday notes

Bad luck strikes Ireland in South Africa Durban, South Africa: Adam Carroll will start 21st and 13th for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland in round seven of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Durban tomorrow. Ireland were making good progress in...

Bad luck strikes Ireland in South Africa

Durban, South Africa: Adam Carroll will start 21st and 13th for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland in round seven of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Durban tomorrow.

Ireland were making good progress in this morning's practice session when, with 20 minutes of the session still left to run, the car stopped out on circuit with a fuel pressure related problem. On further inspection it turned out to be the high pressure pump which was replaced ahead of qualifying.

Unfortunately in first qualifying for the Sprint race the fuel pressure problem reoccurred and left Adam stranded out on track. Luckily, a red flag caused by New Zealand's Jonny Reid allowed the marshals to return the car to the pits where the team began frantic repairs. With no time registered for Sprint qualifying Adam will start back of the grid in 21st.

After some fantastic teamwork, Adam was back on track in the dying moments of Q3, the first Feature race qualifying session, and put in a blistering lap of 1m 18.824s which was good enough for fifth. Unfortunately, when on a quicker run in Q4 the back end stepped out and Adam ended up in the wall at Turn 10. With others going quicker in the final minutes Ireland dropped to 13th for tomorrow Feature race. As the track has proved, it is extremely unforgiving so with two good clean races, and inevitable mistakes by others, Ireland can still come through field tomorrow and Adam is never one to shy away from a challenge.

Adam Carroll: "Unfortunately the problems started in testing when we missed the last 20 minutes. The car was getting better and I was getting better but unfortunately we didn't get the chance to finish that session. I went out on new tyres in qualifying and unfortunately the fuel pump went again, the same as it did in practice, so I had to pull over. The guys did a great job fixing it that quickly and get me back out. The first set of tyres wasn't too bad, but in Q4 I knew where I had to improve so was trying really hard but the rear end was just so lose I just hit the wall and that was that. If you look at what happened last year though, as long as we can get through the first corner and stay out of trouble we can hopefully be in a decent position at the end of the races."

Dan Walmsley, Race Engineer: "We suffered a similar failure in qualifying that stopped our running in free practice this morning. We ended up losing the first two qualifying sessions for the Sprint race so unfortunately we're going to have to start from the back of the grid there. The team worked fantastically well to get the problem resolved in just enough time to get Adam back out for the end of the first Feature race qualifying. Adam had to push to make it round in time and he put in a fantastic lap which he pulled from nowhere to put us P5, and there was more to come from the car as Adam hadn't had a chance to feel the current circuit conditions.

"We left the car pretty much as it was for the final run but unfortunately with Adam pushing so hard to find the time, the back end came around, we hit the barrier and that was the end of our qualifying session. What was P5 in Q3 became P13 by the end of Q4 so it's really disappointing for everyone in the team as they've worked so hard, especially this afternoon to get the problem sorted.

"Adam is a great racer and we hope we can pull a good result off tomorrow but it's very difficult to overtake so we just need to keep our noses clean and hopefully we'll secure a good points finish. It will be a race of attrition and those that finish will most likely finish with points. The Sprint will be very difficult starting from the back but we have a good strategy, a good group of mechanics for the pit stops and if Adam can pull off a couple of good overtaking moves we should hopefully see ourselves up where we should be in the Feature."

-credit: edenrocksports.com

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Series A1GP
Drivers Adam Carroll , Jonny Reid