Ireland races to strong 5th in Shanghai A1GP Team's fortunes changed by chassis change Shanghai, China, 15 April 2007; A1 Team Ireland surged to 5th place in today's Shanghai A1GP race, driver Richard Lyons making the most of a new car built ...
Ireland races to strong 5th in Shanghai A1GP
Team's fortunes changed by chassis change
Shanghai, China, 15 April 2007; A1 Team Ireland surged to 5th place in today's Shanghai A1GP race, driver Richard Lyons making the most of a new car built overnight by the team's mechanics after the A1GP organisers allowed the team to swap chassis.
Lyons, who had qualified a disappointed 17th yesterday in the car with which Team Ireland has struggled all season, finished 12th in this morning's Sprint Race to determine the starting grid for the main event. In the Feature Race he moved into 10th at the start and then overtook teams including Italy and Australia as a result of his speed on the track and the Team Ireland mechanics executing a fast and faultless pit stop. As the Irish A1GP car moved up through the field it closed on Team Netherlands for 4th and held off a challenge from Canada, Italy and last year's Champions France.
The decision by A1GP to provide Team Ireland with a spare car was made after team drivers John O'Hara and Richard Lyons had endured another series of uncompetitive performance throughout practice and qualifying. The Team made a formal request to A1GP to be given the opportunity to demonstrate that the car with which it was provided this season had an underlying problem, and so it proved.
Richard Lyons, Driver; "I am absolutely delighted and would like to thank team bosses Mark Kershaw and Mark Gallagher for showing faith in me during recent months while the team was trying to find the problem with the car. Also the mechanics did an amazing job building up the spare car for me to race last night. It was fast and reliable, so I had the tool with which to do the job. It was a really good race and we showed our ability."
Mark Gallagher, Team Principal; "Having been uncompetitive since the beginning of the season, with the exception of either wet conditions or slow stop-go tracks, it was evident in Mexico and here that there was something very wrong. We'd had our race chassis checked out by A1GP after Brno, which did not show up anything untoward, but there is no doubt that car did not work in higher load corners whatever we did. Our mechanics have worked brilliantly, our current drivers John and Richard have been loyal, positive and encouraging, and today the evidence of Team Ireland's situation was clear for all to see. This is a long overdue and well earned result for the team."
Team Ireland now heads to the final round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Brands Hatch, UK, in two weeks time.
-credit: team ireland