Portimao: Team Ireland preview

Ireland aiming for maximum points in Portugal Dublin, 6th April 2009; A1 Team Ireland continues its bid for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport title in Portugal this weekend with the sixth round of the series, the Vodafone A1GP ...

Ireland aiming for maximum points in Portugal

Dublin, 6th April 2009; A1 Team Ireland continues its bid for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport title in Portugal this weekend with the sixth round of the series, the Vodafone A1GP Algarve on April 10th-12th. Adam Carroll and the rest of the Irish squad head to the event just three points behind Team Switzerland in the battle for championship honours but, with a team's best seven from eight events to count, Ireland is still one point ahead on a provisional 'drop scores' calculation.

With just three events left on the season roster the battle couldn't be closer and, with Portugal just nine points off the championship lead heading to their home race, the competition is sure to be particularly intense.

The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is a new circuit on the A1GP calendar and is eagerly anticipated among the teams having attracted numerous plaudits since it was launched in October of last year.

While no A1GP teams having testing on the 4.692km layout, A1 team Ireland Team Principal Mark Gallagher believes that the circuit will suit Adam Carroll and the Irish crew, and that the pressure is firmly on the Portuguese team to perform well on home soil: "From a Team Ireland perspective we will treat this race in the Algarve like any other; we want to be out in front and to win. Although Team Switzerland is our closest rival, Team Portugal is right there too and this weekend will be a big test for them because they have to win on home soil. They have a lot of pressure, whereas we simply have to keep doing what we've been doing all season. Switzerland are right with us on three race wins each, but Portugal really has to win this weekend. In spite of them knowing the circuit very well, the pressure is on."

"Team Ireland can win this weekend, and that's what we are here to do. I have been fortunate enough to visit this exciting circuit and it is truly one of the very best new venues in the world. It's a credit to Park Algarve's CEO Paulo Pinheiro and his team.

"The track is in a superb setting and the circuit undulates with challenging corners, rising and falling with blind crests and lots of interesting challenges for the drivers. It's a real driver's circuit, therefore, and ideally suited to Adam Carroll in my opinion. I believe we are still the strongest contender for the championship considering the extraordinarily bad luck we suffered in both New Zealand, where we were defeated only by a software problem, and in South Africa where we were taken off the track. I don't think any team is better prepared than we are, and we are going to push hard from Friday to Sunday."

Adam Carroll is particularly eager to get back on track after missing out on a top result when he was punted off track in South Africa last time out.

"I'm itching to get back in the car next weekend as we didn't get a proper run in Gauteng for reasons beyond our control," said Carroll. "The track looks mega and was well received by the F1 teams in testing so I think it's going to be a nice place to continue the championship fight.

"We had a good car last day out and if we work hard then there's no reason that can't be maintained next weekend. We're at the business end of the championship now so we have to get the maximum out of the weekend from the time we arrive at the track right through to Sunday evening."

Niall Quinn will begin track activities for the team when he drives in Friday's Rookie test session. Carroll will take over for Friday practice, further practice on Saturday, qualifying and Sunday's Sprint and Feature races.

-credit: ireland

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Series A1GP
Drivers Adam Carroll , Niall Quinn , Paulo Pinheiro