Tough weekend for Ireland down-under Eastern Creek, Australia, 3rd February 2008: Adam Carroll finished 15th and 13th in two wet races to end a tough weekend for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland in round six of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in ...
Tough weekend for Ireland down-under
Eastern Creek, Australia, 3rd February 2008: Adam Carroll finished 15th and 13th in two wet races to end a tough weekend for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland in round six of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Australia.
Adam made a good start from 12th in the Sprint race, passing Brazil around the outside of turn one followed by Australia on the exit of turn two; typical of Adam's racing spirit. The rain then began to fall but as there appeared to be plenty of grip the team kept him out on slicks. This turned out to be the right call for all the front runners and Adam got himself up into fifth. On lap 11 Canada's Robert Wickens caught onto the back of him and as the pair tussled for position Adam was forced to take a tighter line through turn three, losing grip and spinning in the wet conditions. He recovered to finish 15th by the chequered flag.
After a downpour of rain just before the start of the Feature race, the weather looked like it may dry out so the team gambled on slick tyres and a dry set up. Unfortunately, as the cars headed round for the parade lap the rain continued to fall and Adam was forced to pit before the start for wet tyres. He emerged in 21st and began making his way through the pack. Adam struggled for grip but after two good pit stops and some changes before the final stint he put in some quick laps to finish 13th.
The team are now eighth in the championship after their first non points scoring weekend of the season but are looking forward to turning their fortunes around next time out in Durban, South Africa.
Adam Carroll: "I threw away some easy points in the Sprint. I was fighting hard for a position so was too tight on the inside of the corner and there was no grip there. When I put the power down there was a bit of grip but then it was gone and it just caught me out. In the Feature we made the wrong choice of tyres on the grid. We thought it would dry out so started the race on slicks but as the rain fell on the parade lap we decided the best thing to do was to come immediately and stick wets back on, which was the right thing to do. We didn't have a wet set up so we didn't have any grip though. We thought we were getting somewhere with the pace in Taupo but we've come here and the two circuits are completely different so everything we did there just didn't work here. It's another weekend of experience for us all and even bad experience is good and we'll move forward from here."
Dan Walmsley, Race Engineer: "In the Sprint race we were trying to bounce back from a disappointing qualifying session. We made a few significant changes overnight to try and give Adam the performance he needed and ultimately we took a big step towards that. We made good progress up to 5th and were looking competitive until Adam was caught out on a particularly wet bit of the track which dropped us towards the back. We were disappointed but encouraged by the performance we had shown.
"In the Feature race we felt we had a good set up for what we believed would be wet conditions. There was a big downpour before the start so we went to the grid on wet tyres but the circuit was drying very quickly and starting from 15th we took a gamble and started on slicks. Unfortunately it then started raining again, against the forecasts we had seen, so we were forced to pit at the end
of the parade lap onto wets. We ultimately didn't lose too much time from that but we just struggled with the pace as the car was set up for the dry so it wasn't until the final stint where we made some changes that we could give Adam some pace to compete. It was encouraging that even with a dry set up we managed to get Adam there but unfortunately we'd lost so much time in the first two stints it just wasn't to be. Every season you have one weekend that is sent to try you and this has been it, now we've got it out the way we'll be a stronger team for Durban."
Niall Quinn: "It was my first weekend as rookie driver and I really enjoyed driving the car. The team was really good to work with and they did a great job this weekend. Even though it was a tough weekend for the team I was still really glad to be part of it and I think it will definitely get better for the rest of the season; I just hope I'm around to see it!"
Mark Gallagher, Team Principal: "The Irish team has been a model of consistency scoring points every weekend this season until this one. I think inevitably we had to have one that didn't work out for us and this has been it. The team have worked just as hard as ever and Adam has worked just as hard but it just didn't come together after the chassis problem. This is one to park up as being a tough weekend and we now look forward to getting back to our consistent points scoring success for the balance of the season and continue to look for that elusive victory."
-credit: team ireland