Storming drive for Team Ireland Taupo, New Zealand: Adam Carroll finished 6th and 5th for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland in round five of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport on his first ever visit to the Taupo Motorsports Park, New ...
Storming drive for Team Ireland
Taupo, New Zealand: Adam Carroll finished 6th and 5th for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland in round five of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport on his first ever visit to the Taupo Motorsports Park, New Zealand today.
From 7th on the grid, Adam initially kept to the inside line going through turn one off the rolling start in the Sprint race to move ahead of USA's Jonathan Summerton into P6. He then made a move round the outside of the Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen but the pair made contact leaving Adam still in P6 as the safety car came out temporarily holding up proceedings due to an incident further down the field.
With 11 laps to go, Adam held position on the re-start and despite putting in competitive lap times couldn't make any further impression on the cars up ahead, bringing the Irish car home in P6 for a solid points finish.
The Feature race then posed the big challenge with Adam starting in 13th position. Adam pulled away in position but touched the back of Team USA on lap one after they were slowed up by the car in front. This damaged the front wing causing Irish squad to make an unscheduled pit stop to replace the nose. Back out on track, but in last place, the safety car being deployed enabled Adam to catch onto the back of the pack once again and after staying out a few extra laps in the first pit stop window the team got him back out in P13. He continued to push really hard and caught onto the battle for 11th between Switzerland and Pakistan. When the pair made contact Adam capitalized, keeping down the inside moving up into P11 by lap 16. Adam then reeled in Team USA and when Jonathan Summerton ran wide on lap 34, Ireland went through into P10.
As the second pit stop window opened on lap 34 Adam put in some fantastic lap times before stopping which, together with a clean pit stop from the Irish crew, got him back out in P6. Switzerland's penalty promoted Adam to P5 on lap 41 and he was then left to chase the battle for second up ahead, eventually crossing the line only four seconds off the lead after a storming drive in what was an extremely action-packed race.
After a rollercoaster of emotions between qualifying and racing, two good points finished mean Team Ireland move up to sixth in Championship as they prepare to head to Sydney for round six.
Adam Carroll: "The Sprint race was good. I got a good start and was nearly round the outside of the Netherlands but he launched up the inside and hit me quite hard which bent the steering. I then had to do the rest of the race with bent steering but it wasn't too bad and I still managed to put in some good lap times and we scored some solid points. The car felt good; there was good grip and balance today.
We had a good first lap in the Feature and passed a few people. I was in tight behind USA but he had to slow up because of the car in front and we touched. It wasn't that hard a hit but it broke the front wing. I think it was bent at first but then it soon just ripped off the whole right hand side so I had to come in for a new nose. The boys did a great job getting me back out as quick as they did and the safety car helped me catch everybody. We didn't make any other mistakes and came home in fifth not too far off the leaders. We've learnt a lot this weekend and now we can use it to help us put together a good qualifying session in Australia."
Dan Walmsley, Race Engineer: "We were happy with P6 in the Sprint race as it was a solid result but we all knew the real challenge was to come in the Feature race. We had good pace but unfortunately got tangled up in an incident which damaged the front wing so we were forced to pit for a new nose. The boys did one of the fastest nose changes we've ever seen though and a lap later, when the safety car came out, we managed to catch back onto the pack only four laps from the pit stop window. We recognized we had the pace so stayed out six laps into the second pit window. This was the most crucial part of the race for us as Adam was blisteringly quick on old tyres and that helped us leapfrog four cars. The race was really exciting coming from P13 to P5 and we had the pace to win so it's very encouraging for Eastern Creek; we're knocking on the door of a first win!"