Taupo: Series Sprint race report

Ireland Take Taupo Sprint Victory Taupo, New Zealand -- A1 Team Ireland's Adam Carroll converted pole position into victory in the Sprint race at Taupo Motorsport Park this morning, extending the team's lead at the top of the A1GP World Cup ...

Ireland Take Taupo Sprint Victory

Taupo, New Zealand -- A1 Team Ireland's Adam Carroll converted pole position into victory in the Sprint race at Taupo Motorsport Park this morning, extending the team's lead at the top of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport standings.

Switzerland's Neel Jani finished second after a great pit stop from the team helped bump him up the order, from fourth on the grid. The Netherlands' Robert Doornbos finished third, ahead of France's Loic Duval. Home driver for A1 Team New Zealand, Chris van der Drift, brought Black Beauty home in fifth place.

Adam Carroll made a perfect getaway from the standing start to lead the pack into the first turn, and make an early break from the rest of the field. Doornbos also had a clean start from alongside him on the front row with the top five holding position as they completed the first lap. New Zealand had a slow start, much to the disappointment of the home crowd, while Great Britain's Dan Clarke, Brazil's Felipe Guimaraes, USA's Marco Andretti and Monaco's Clivio Piccione all lost time on the first lap.

Ireland was the first team to dive into the pits and a slick stop from the crew helped retain the advantage. Switzerland's fantasitic work in the pits got Jani out two-seconds faster than the Irish crew, bringing him out right behind the emerald green car.

Doornbos stayed out an extra lap before pitting, but a slow getaway lost him time bringing him out in third. After making a good start, Portugal also lost out in the pit stops, dropping down to seventh from what looked to be a strong podium finish.

Australia's John Martin made up a position off the start and was looking strong before Martin clipped the inside tyre barrier and damaged his front wishbone as well as the camera recording his indiscretion, leaving him to cruise back to the pit lane to retire.

With five-laps to go Jani began to slightly reduce the gap but a faultless drive from Carroll saw the Celtic Tiger take victory for the third time this season.

"It was a great race obviously from pole to win," said Carroll. "I am very, very happy and just have to go and try and do it all again."

Commenting on the circuit, he continued: "It is a hard little circuit and easy to make mistakes. If you push hard, miss your braking or go wide it is really dirty off line. There are some interesting bumps in some quick corners that unsettle the car and you have to work hard all the time."

Switzerland's Jani said: "I had to work to get to second, but I think the big job was done by my pit crew this time. That second place definitely is thanks to them.

"At the pit stop I couldn't really get into the pits very well because Adam (Carroll) was sitting there, so I was not well placed, but they still managed to do a good pit stop and got me up to second. Once I was behind Adam I could keep up with his pace but it was very hard to follow him as he was kicking up some dust and it was getting into my eyes.

"I am a hundred per cent fit now, but obviously I feel the fact that I didn't do anything for the last 12 days as I was just lying in bed."

Third-placed Doornbos said: "It was quite okay as for the first time I got a good start, which I was quite happy about after China. Then Adam did a great first lap and I found it very slippery. I then closed the gap and just before the pit stops I was right on his tail. The team told me he had the advantage to pit one lap earlier so I had to really push but I was going well.

"When I was on the in-lap the pit limiter just dropped me down to 20 instead of 60. The pit stop went okay I think, but then as I went to pull away we had the same glitch with the software that went into anti-stall, and just would not get first gear. The seconds felt like minutes and I think I lost four or five crucial seconds. I am happy to have a podium but I am always looking for more. I like A1GP because you have two chances."

-credit: a1gp

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Robert Doornbos , Marco Andretti , Adam Carroll , Clivio Piccione , Neel Jani , Chris van der Drift , John Martin , Felipe Guimaraes , Dan Clarke