Taupo: Team Ireland Saturday notes

Ireland Dominates Qualifying in New Zealand! Team Ireland to start from pole position in both races Dublin, 24th Jan 2009; A season of landmarks continued in Taupo, New Zealand today as series leader Ireland scored its first ever pole...

Ireland Dominates Qualifying in New Zealand!

Team Ireland to start from pole position in both races

Dublin, 24th Jan 2009; A season of landmarks continued in Taupo, New Zealand today as series leader Ireland scored its first ever pole position double when Portadown's Adam Carroll qualified in top spot for both the Sprint and Feature races at round four of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

In an awesome display of dominance throughout the qualifying session, Adam Carroll and Ireland topped the timesheets in all four segments of qualifying, remarkably taking pole position for both races by the identical margin of 0.265 of a second for each race.

Having scored two victories from the last four race starts, Ireland currently leads the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport by eight points from Portugal who will start third for both races.

Team Principal Mark Gallagher celebrated another watershed moment in the history of A1 Team Ireland but was quick to point out that the Ireland team are not resting on their laurels yet.

"It is a measure of the team's development, engineering strength and Adam Carroll's sheer ability that we can celebrate our first double pole position for Sunday's sprint and feature races," said Gallagher. Adam likes this track but it is interesting how we now take practice very steadily, understanding the car and relying on the driver and engineers to know what we need for qualifying and then deliver it.

"We dominated today, but races are not won on a Saturday so the focus of the team and driver will be on the critical phases of tomorrow's races - the starts and the mandatory pit stops. An ideal qualifying performance."

Ireland will be joined by the Netherlands on the front row for both races, making it a front row double for Irish company Status Grand Prix Ltd which supplies engineering technology to the Dutch squad as well as owning and running the Irish team.

Needless to say, Adam Carroll was proud of his achievement in qualifying and is eagerly looking forward to Sunday's two races.

Adam Carroll: I got four good clean laps in and we were quick. It was a good run ij each segment. I put the new tyres on but didn't really know what the grip level would be so I simply pushed hard and hoped to be at the front. I put in a nice tidy lap in at the end. It is a tricky circuit to put in a nice quick lap with no mistakes, but today it all flowed well and the pole positions came to us. It's a very satisfying feeling.

"The circuit here just doesn't have much grip so when you try hard you can have a spin or run wide, so it is important to be careful. That is what practice is for, because that is when you can push hard just to find where everything is. When it comes to the new tyres you just have to be smooth - push one hundred per cent put the lap together as we did today. It's great for the team; they have done a superb job to give me the car for this."

Tomorrow's Sprint Race starts at 11am local time, 10pm Irish time Saturday, while the Feature Race is scheduled to get under way at 3pm local, 2am Irish time.

-credit: ireland

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Series A1GP
Drivers Adam Carroll