Ireland Punted Off in South Africa Clash With Team Malaysia Costs Ireland the Series Lead Kyalami, South Africa, February 22nd, 2009; The A1 Team Ireland squad was out of luck in round five of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Kyalami, South...
Ireland Punted Off in South Africa
Clash With Team Malaysia Costs Ireland the Series Lead
Kyalami, South Africa, February 22nd, 2009; The A1 Team Ireland squad was out of luck in round five of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Kyalami, South Africa when Adam Carroll was punted out of the Feature Race on lap one as he passed Malaysia's Fairuz Fauzy. Earlier Carroll had finished a fine fourth from sixth on the grid in the Sprint Race but the net gain of five points from the weekend was not enough to retain the lead of the series and Ireland has slipped to second, three points behind Switzerland heading to the sixth round of the championship.
After making a good start Carroll was up one place from his grid position of sixth and ready to challenge Team Malaysia on the back straight. Carroll got a clear run out of the previous corner and was already past before he turned in for turn five. Needless to say, the Portadown man was very disappointed afterwards.
"I'm pretty annoyed, pretty angry with the Malaysia driver," said Carroll. I made a good start and had already made up positions and we were having a battle. Malaysia was slow coming onto the back straight so I used my push-to-pass and I knew I was ahead. I even turned in quite late to give him some room and he just hit me in the back right corner. That's very disappointing for everybody in the team and it's cost us the lead in the championship. We would have had a good afternoon but we'll just have to regroup for the next event."
Team Principal Mark Gallagher was very angry after the incident, which he described as unacceptable; "Frankly I'm disgusted. It's taken us four seasons to get to this level of competitiveness. We're pushing to win a championship and it's not the only time that this driver has caused incidents - in fact he did the same thing to New Zealand later in the race. That's cost us the championship points lead that we fought so hard to create. It's now developed into a very tight three-way battle at the head of the points table with Switzerland, Portugal and ourselves.
"We were on course to consolidate our points lead today but for a piece of poor driving. Team Malaysia is one of the very best in A1GP, but today their driver has cost us dearly. Adam and the team did a great job to improve two spots on our grid position in the Sprint Race showing just how competitive we are when we get a clean run. We're still very much in it so now we have to put this weekend behind us and focus on reproducing the performances that helped us to the series lead in the first place. It's still all to play for."