Portimao: Team Ireland Sunday notes

Ireland elated and frustrated after stunning Algarve performance Adam Carroll finishes 2nd in both events - then penalised to 5th in Feature Race Park Algarve, Portugal, 12th April 2009; Team Ireland's ambitions to win the A1GP World Cup of ...

Ireland elated and frustrated after stunning Algarve performance Adam Carroll finishes 2nd in both events - then penalised to 5th in Feature Race

Park Algarve, Portugal, 12th April 2009; Team Ireland's ambitions to win the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport took a step forward today when stunning performances from Adam Carroll and the Irish pit crew saw them claim 2nd place in both races before a Stewards' enquiry led to a 25 second penalty for overtaking behind a Safety Car, dropping him to 5th in the Feature race. Ireland is now 2nd to Switzerland by only two points, with Portugal four points behind, although under the 'dropped score' system Ireland is out in front.

Scoring fastest laps in both the Sprint and Feature races netted Ireland a further two valuable points on a day when Carroll's talent sparkled. Starting the Sprint Race from 3rd place on the grid the Team Ireland car jumped Team Italy's Vitantonio Liuzzi at the pit stop and finished 2nd behind race winner Robert Doornbos for Team Netherlands.

In the Feature Race Carroll started from second on the grid, but was actually the first car to lead the field away when Doornbos' car suffered a fire on the grid formation lap. Ireland's lead, however, was soon taken away when Carroll was determined to have jumped the start and given a drive-through penalty that dropped him to 15th. Then began a remarkable comeback drive which saw the green car climb the leader board, superb pit stops helping Carroll surge through to 3rd place before he finally overtook Team Portugal to finish the race a mere 0.4s behind race winner, Switzerland's Neel Jani.

Later however, Ireland was docked 25 seconds for joining Germany in overtaking Team Australia during a particularly confusing melee at a Safety car restart.

Adam Carroll; "We had two good races and everyone saw how strong we are. The Sprint Race went according to plan, and that 2nd place was fine. In the Feature Race I knew the car had rolled a little on the grid but I definitely did not start until the lights went out. After we got the drive through penalty I just put my head down and we climbed back to 2nd - so I am very disappointed we got a 25 second penalty. What happened at the Safety Car restart was that everyone in front started to brake, slow and fan out - Australia pulled across suddenly, and slowed, and I did the safest thing which was to keep going. If we'd all hit the brakes there'd have been a motorway-style accident. Not much of a choice."

Mark Gallagher, Team Principal; "Our team did a stunning job today. Adam drove brilliantly. Possibly one of the most perfect drives anyone has seen to recover from the initial drive through penalty. The Safety Car restart was a mess, we were penalised. The Stewards have a hard job to do, so we accept their verdict even if we find the outcome extremely frustrating. We aim to win this title. If we don't I suspect we will look back at today's outcome as being pivotal. For now, though, it's history. Roll on Brands Hatch."

-credit: ireland

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Robert Doornbos , Adam Carroll , Vitantonio Liuzzi , Neel Jani