Ireland out of luck in A1GP South Africa Durban, South Africa, 25 February 2007; In spite of an encouraging performance throughout the weekend and a 6th placed finish in the Sprint Race which netted the team a much needed championship point,...
Ireland out of luck in A1GP South Africa
Durban, South Africa, 25 February 2007; In spite of an encouraging performance throughout the weekend and a 6th placed finish in the Sprint Race which netted the team a much needed championship point, Team Ireland was forced to retire from this afternoon's A1GP in Durban, South Africa, after driver Richard Lyons touched one of the street circuit's unforgiving walls. Lyons was holding 8th place at the time and battling with Mexico and Brazil following a Safety Car period.
This morning's Sprint Race saw Lyons start 7th on the grid and finish 6th after overtaking Mexico at the first corner, so he started from 6th place on the grid for the Feature Race. Disaster struck at the start, however, when the engine stalled and Lyons had to be push started by track marshals, rejoining at the back of the field and then working his way through to 8th thanks in part to a superb pit stop by the Team Ireland mechanics.
Richard Lyons; Retired - Accident Damage; "At the start the car didn't even really move, the engine just died as I was trying to balance the clutch to make the most of the rubber that had been laid down on the formation lap. I had some brake balance problems during the race and the accident happened when I was trying to hug the wall at Turn 3 and the rear touched it where there is a bit of an angle. I'm very disappointed - we had the chance to score well today."
Gary Anderson, Technical Director; "We made another step forward this weekend, starting with us being 2nd in practice on Friday. The accident on Saturday morning set us back and we didn't start qualifying as well as we could have, but in the end Richard put in a good time. The Sprint Race was good, but two mistakes this afternoon cost us the start and a potential finish."
Mark Gallagher, Team Principal; "We had a great beginning to the day with a strong performance in the Sprint Race, but quite literally from the start of the Feature Race we were in trouble. After stalling Richard did well to come back through the field but ultimately this was always going to be a race of attrition and it's disappointing that we became one of the accident statistics."