Ireland team wins Brands Hatch Sprint Race
A1 Team Ireland and Adam Carroll moved one step closer to the team’s maiden title after taking victory in this morning’s Sprint race at A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain.
India’s Narain Karthikeyan finished second with Mexico’s Salvador Duran taking the final podium position.
Ireland got a good start but Mexico had a better run into Paddock Hill, taking the lead around the outside through the first corner. Ireland settled into second from USA, Portugal, India and Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Australia’s John Martin took advantage of a mistake by Switzerland’s Neel Jani to take eighth place before the mandatory pit stop window opened.
India made the decision to pit early alongside Lebanon, Germany and Malaysia. A lap later Mexico and Ireland made their way into the pits but after an incredibly quick stop by the Irish team, Adam Carroll regained the lead with India taking second.
John R Hildebrand continued his good weekend form in his first race for A1 Team USA today by moving up to third after the pit stops, pushing Mexico down to fourth. Monaco’s Clivio Piccione had problems leaving the pits, rolling to a stop at the pit lane exit.
On lap nine the order was Ireland from India, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Netherlands, Australia and Switzerland.
Duran was then able to capitalize on a mistake from Hildebrand at the final corner which gave the Mexican a good run to take third into the first corner.
Carroll now had a 3.867-second lead from India but still kept the fans on the edge of their seats kicking up the dust showing no sign of easing off the pace.
On lap 15 Lebanon’s Daniel Morad lost the back end and spun into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend with New Zealand’s Earl Bamber also going into the gravel to avoid hitting the Lebanese car, leaving both cars out the race.
Carroll took victory with a comfortable 7.230-second margin over India. Mexico’s Duran settled for the final podium position.
A1 Team Brazil did not make the start after being unable to repair the car in time for this morning’s Sprint race. The team is still working hard and hopes to have the car ready in time for this afternoon’s Feature race.
Portugal’s Filipe Albuquerque finished fifth with Switzerland’s Jani taking a single point for eighth. Ireland now leads the championship with 97 points from Switzerland (89) and Portugal (86).
Ireland needs to finish fifth or better in this afternoon’s Feature race to guarantee them the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport title.
“It’s never easy,” said Ireland’s Adam Carroll. “Sprint races are always quite strange, they’re tougher than the Feature race for some reason. I could see Mexico pushing very hard so just let then get on with it and hoped the boys would come up with the goods in the pit stop and they did. It’s a relief for this race to be over and once this afternoon is done we can relax.”
India’s Narain Karthikeyan said: “it was difficult after a small mistake in qualifying as we should have been further up the grid. The car is working well so I think we are looking good for another podium this afternoon.”
Mexico’s Salvador Duran said: “I did a small mistake put still the team did a great job and put me out in a podium position. To achieve a podium is great for us and it’s a developing project for next season.”
Sprint Race Results
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