Carroll and Firman line up for Team Ireland test Having successfully completed a rookie evaluation at Snetterton last week Adam Carroll will step up to full testing duties for A1 Team Ireland at Silverstone next Tuesday and will be joined by the...
Carroll and Firman line up for Team Ireland test
Having successfully completed a rookie evaluation at Snetterton last week Adam Carroll will step up to full testing duties for A1 Team Ireland at Silverstone next Tuesday and will be joined by the team's most successful driver to date, former Jordan F1 driver Ralph Firman. Carroll impressed the team with his pace at Snetterton, despite the wet and windy conditions at the Norfolk circuit, and hopes are high that the 24 year old from Portadown can perform strongly at a track where he has already taken a GP2 victory this year.
The two day test will be completed on Wednesday by Firman who returns to the A1 Team Ireland cockpit for the first time since season one. He scored the team's podium finish in Portugal and qualified 3rd on two occasions during the team's debut season in 2005/06 and has been drafted back into a team which has undergone significant changes since the end of last season. Firman is currently enjoying a stunning season in the Japanese Super GT Championship, where he comfortably leads the title fight in his works Honda NSX. Combining Firman's experience with Carroll's capability is aimed at making the first official test of the A1GP season as productive as possible for the Irish squad. No decisions on the driver line-up for the season will be made until after the second official A1GP test on September 18th and 19th when the team will test at least one other Irish driver.
Among the major changes to the team for the new season are the arrival of Dan Walmsley as race engineer and Irishman Mike Henderson as data engineer. The team's new chief mechanic is Stewart Cox, a senior mechanic at Jordan Grand Prix before becoming chief mechanic and test team manager on the Spyker Formula One team from where he joins A1 Team Ireland on a full time basis. Tralee's Dave O'Neill continues as Team Manager, with new additions to the team including Irish mechanics Mark Flanagan and Stephen Kelly.
Mark Kershaw, Team Owner: "The Silverstone test has always been a good indicator of who perform well in the coming season and we want to make sure we're towards the top of the timesheets. Adam Carroll showed great speed and consistency at Snetterton and he has accepted our invitation to participate in the first official test while we're delighted to welcome Ralph back. Ralph has not only scored our best results to date but remained very supportive of the team even when we drafted in other drivers last season. With the benefit of hindsight it's clear that his experience and speed counted for more than we realised in season one, and he's certainly keen to race for Team Ireland again if the opportunity arises."
Ralph Firman: "I am very happy to have been asked back to drive the Team Ireland car in next week's test. I followed the team's progress very closely last season and know that an enormous effort has been put into doing whatever necessary to give the team a chance of achieving success in the new season. It's very clear the team has moved onto a new level. At this stage the test is precisely that - a test for me and the team to see how well we can perform - but naturally my goal is to return to a race seat if that can happen."