Niall Quinn wins rookie posistion with Team Ireland

Quinn get's A1GP debut Niall Quinn has won the chance to join Belmayne A1 Team Ireland at Eastern Creek, Sydney, Australia on 1 February 2008 to take part in the rookie test as part of his prize for winning ...

Quinn get's A1GP debut

Niall Quinn has won the chance to join Belmayne A1 Team Ireland at Eastern Creek, Sydney, Australia on 1 February 2008 to take part in the rookie test as part of his prize for winning the prestigious Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year award today.

Niall competed in the Formula BMW UK Championship in 2006 and finished the season as the third placed rookie driver. He then moved onto Formula BMW Germany for 2007, scoring two podiums on his way to seventh in the overall standings.

The winner of Irish motorsport's top award, which also carries with it a total prize fund of ^a50,000 and the legendary Sexton Trophy, was announced earlier today at Motorsport Ireland's Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards lunch in Dublin. The winner is now set to jet out to Sydney, Australia to get behind the wheel of the A1 Team Ireland car on 1 February 2008. After participating in the rookie test session, the award winner will spend the whole weekend working with A1 Team Ireland and with the support of regular driver, Portadown's Adam Carroll.

A1 Team Ireland came on board to help the most promising Irish talent to gain a vital foothold in the international motorsport arena. The A1GP test will give the winner a unique opportunity to impress leading names in the sport at Eastern Creek International Raceway in Sydney.

The team scored its best ever Sprint Race result when Adam came on board for Round 2 this year at Brno in the Czech Republic. He finished third in his debut race before storming through the field from 18th to sixth in the Feature Race. The 25-year-old's speed combined with team's experience is making Ireland one of the strongest teams in A1GP this year.

A1 Team Ireland was created to represent Ireland in the A1GP series and under Chief Executive Mark Kershaw and Team Principal Mark Gallagher, a formidable team has been assembled. With 5-time GP2 race winner Carroll on board for the 2007/08 season, the team have mounted a strong challenge and are one of only four teams to have scored points in every race so far this season. With such strong competition, after only three rounds a break-away group is forming at the head of the points table and Team Ireland is proud to be among that front-running group.

The three young drivers vying for the chance to join A1 Team Ireland and fly the flag for their nation in Australia were selected from the six monthly winners of the Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Month awards, which ran from April to September. The candidates then had to demonstrate their skills before a panel of judges, one of whom was ex-F1 driver Martin Donnelly, at Mondello Park Racing Circuit.

The Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year scheme has been created by Motorsport Ireland and is being backed by the Irish Sports Council and Irish Dunlop. The aim of the award is to promote talented and committed young Irish drivers to help them progress to the highest level of International competition.

Niall Quinn: "It's a great honour to win the award as this is such a big thing for Irish motorsport. Not only is it a big boost for my sponsors but the major plus for me is getting the A1GP rookie test. It will be great to work with the team in Australia and especially to work with Adam. I can't wait to get out there and I just hope I can do a really good job for them".

Mark Kershaw, Team Owner: "Niall will be a magnificent addition to the team in Australia and we're really looking forward to it. It's great for all three of the finalists as its fantastic to see all the motorsport talent coming out of Ireland at the moment; it would be great to get all of them in the car at some point. It's been good working with Motorsport Ireland to help promote young Irish talent and we will be looking to work with them again in the not too distant future."

Alex Sinclair, Chief Executive, Motorsport Ireland: "Niall first came to our attention in karting, but the outstanding thing about him is that he has taken a completely different route to achieve success. He took the brave step of going to Germany, competing at a high level in the very competitive Formula BMW series. For him the gamble has paid off. Some would have been lost out there but his success in Europe has worked a treat".


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Series A1GP
Drivers Adam Carroll , Martin Donnelly , Niall Quinn