Top 3 qualifying slot for Ireland in Zhuhai
Adam Carroll will start tomorrow's Sprint Race from third for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland in round four of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at the Zhuhai International Circuit.
Off the back of topping the timesheets on Friday, the Irish squad were in positive mood heading into qualifying for Sunday's races. After a fantastic run on new tyres in the first qualifying session of the day, Ireland were still on top but after problems with grip on the second new set of tyres in Q2 were just beaten by Germany and Switzerland in the dying minutes. However, with a rolling start for the first of two races tomorrow, Adam is in a great position to take another strong podium finish for A1 Team Ireland.
In the final two sessions of the day, problems arose with neither of the final sets of old and new tyres allowing Adam to get the performance out the car that both he and the team knew was there. After two frustrating runs, the team will start 13th on the grid for tomorrow's Feature Race, but with a standing start, two pit stops and 69-minutes of racing action, there is plenty of ground to be made up that Adam has proved he is more than capable of doing following his amazing drive from 18th to 6th at Brno.
Adam Carroll: "Its really strange. We went out and were P1 in qualifying one and the car felt great so I pushed hard and got a good lap time. We then put on the second set of new tyres and I felt I could improve but the grip just wasn't there. It was incredible, the car felt good but the lap time just wasn't there, I've never had that before. The third and fourth sets were the same. I thought I'd done a good lap but the time was terrible and none of the sets of tyres felt anything like the first ones. We now need to go through all the data and try to figure out why when everyone else went faster, we went slower but I honestly can't answer that one yet. P3 is pretty good for Sprint race though and we can get a good result from there."
Dan Walmsley, Race Engineer: "I think in the Sprint Race qualifying we could have even been on pole, we felt there was more time to come in the second run but the set of tyres didn't really give us the grip we were looking for, but overall we are quite happy with third. The Feature Race qualifying is a complete mystery at the moment. We just lost time; we lost nearly a second to our Sprint Race qualifying without making any major changes to the car so we've really got to understand why that happened and make sure it doesn't happen in tomorrow's race. We had a slight fuel pressure problem during the session but we overcame that and the team worked well today. I think the team's very disappointed with the overall results so we've got a lot of work to do for tomorrow. I'm confident we wont be finishing the Feature Race where we're starting it and I'm sure Adam will put on a great show for everyone again, but we need to make sure Adam is starting the races up the front not having to fight his way up from the back like sadly he had to do at Brno, and he's got to do again here."
Mark Gallagher, Team Principal: "Sprint qualifying went well and it is very satisfying to be in the top three- matching our best ever qualifying. There was a clear lack of speed in the Feature qualifying which is going to be investigated as Adam felt sure he was much quicker."