Carroll Storms to Irish Victory in Mexico Mexico City, Mexico: Adam Carroll scored Belmayne A1 Team Ireland's maiden victory from fifth on the grid in an action-packed Feature race in Mexico City. The Feature race got underway with Adam...
Carroll Storms to Irish Victory in Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico: Adam Carroll scored Belmayne A1 Team Ireland's maiden victory from fifth on the grid in an action-packed Feature race in Mexico City.
The Feature race got underway with Adam making a good start to jump Germany but lost out to New Zealand to remain in fifth at the end of the first lap.
The top five began to break away from the pack with Canada leading from Switzerland, Great Britain and New Zealand. On Lap 10 Ireland followed Great Britain and New Zealand into the pits for the first round of stops and some exceptionally slick work from the Irish crew got Adam back out ahead of both, as well as jumping Canada who had pitted a lap earlier.
Now in P2 Adam was the second fastest man on track, with the quickest, Switzerland's Neel Jani now out in the lead. The pair began to pull away until Lap 27 when Jonny Reid hit the tyre wall in the chicane bringing out the safety car. Switzerland's six second advantage was erased and Adam was right on his rear wing at the re-start. Jani began to pull away slightly until Lap 37 when both the Swiss and Irish cars pit for their second mandatory stops. After an incredible pit-stop by the Irish team, Adam was side-by-side in the pitlane with Switzerland as they headed back out on track but with Adam in the correct lane Jani was forced to tuck in behind as Ireland took the lead.
Adam then got his head down to hold off the challenge from Jani until Lap 44 when Jani was called in for a drive-through penalty for not tucking in behind the Irish car earlier in the pitlane. With the pressure removed and a three second lead on Great Britain, Adam took an amazing maiden victory for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland; the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!
Earlier in the day, Adam finished fourth in an action-filled Sprint race which saw a red flag due to an incident before the cars had come across the start line.
After a 20-minute delay the cars were back in their original starting spots and in formation for the re-start. As the first race of the day finally got under way, Adam made a great start from seventh keeping in tight through the first corner to emerge ahead of the USA and Canada.
South Africa's Adrian Zaugg appeared to have a puncture, going off in the lead at the first corner as New Zealand took the lead and Ireland was prompted to P4. On lap six the safety car was out on track due to the Czech Republic spinning at the chicane which bunched the pack up with only a few laps still to run. On the re-start, Adam came under pressure from the USA and Portugal but defended well and began to attack Switzerland in front for the final podium position.
Adam pushed hard to the very end but had to settle for fourth, a great points finish which together with the fantastic victory in the afternoon boosts the team to eighth in the championship with 73 points after a weekend with two incredible drives from Adam Carroll and some fantastic team- work.
Adam Carroll: "The re-start was pretty close in the Sprint and everybody was bunched together but I got a good first corner. You could see everyone was going to go in a bit deep and that's
what happened so I kept in tight and then I was able to stay with Switzerland which was good. Hopefully we'll have another good result this afternoon and then we can relax after that!
"It was hard to get the car off the line as the engine struggled with the thin air but once we got going it was fine. My race pace was quite good so I could stay with the guys at the front and it came down to the pit stops really. The guys did a fantastic job and we jumped 3 cars to come out in second! Once I was in the lead it was down to me.
"It feels very good. It's such a relief because of the pain and hard work that goes into motorsport. The team is a great bunch of people Mark Kershaw, Mark Gallagher, Alan Kershaw and Dave O'Neill our team manager have all been here from the very beginning and have stuck with it. When things get hard you have to dig deep and that's what we've done and we've come away with a fantastic result this weekend."
Dan Walmsley, Race Engineer: "Adam made a great start in the Sprint; he was very committed and kept his foot in which was ultimately what got the jump on everyone at the start. He looked strong and was able to hold pace with the front pack.
"Words fail me this afternoon. It was the result of seven weekend's work. The boys pulled out not just one, but two of the most fantastic pit stops we've done all year and that enabled us to jump three cars in the first stop and Switzerland in the second. The pressure we put the Swiss under also ended with them getting a drive-through penalty. The whole team should be really proud of themselves and I hope now we've uncorked the bottle there's no stopping us now!"
Niall Quinn: "I'm really glad to be here with the team when they get their first win. From my time with them I've seen they definitely were capable of it and I'm so happy it all came together for them all this weekend."
Mark Gallagher, Team Principal: "This is a day we have waited for since we got this project started and built the team from scratch two and a half years ago. Ireland is this afternoon a world beating country in grand prix style racing, and its only been made possible by the vision and support of Alan and Mark Kershaw, of our sponsors Belmayne and LM Developments,. Manvik, BPI Telecom, OZO, Harris Hino, ORCA, OB Sport and Motorsport Ireland. The team manager Dave O'Neill has been with me since the start and has done a terrific job while Dan Walmsley our engineer is first rate. Adam Carroll is a world class driver - always has been and just needed a team which gave him unqualified support. He should be in F1 instead of some of those old tossers who take the cash from teams who fall for the 'experience' scam, but thankfully he's in A1 with us. A great day for Irish motorsport."