Ireland wins again and takes title

Adam Carroll crowned Team Ireland as A1GP season four champion at Brands Hatch with feature race victory on Sunday

Ireland wins again and takes title

Carroll dominated the race from pole position, holding off Monaco's Clivio Piccione into Paddock Hill Bend on the opening lap and leading almost every lap on his way to a 10-second victory. Ireland joins France, Germany and Switzerland as a World Cup of Motorsport winner.

Neel Jani's third place, despite a broken exhaust, guaranteed the runner-up spot in the title standings for Switzerland. Filipe Albuquerque of Portugal, the other country with a shot of victory overall, finished third in the standings, three points behind the Swiss.

After holding off fellow front-row starter Piccione, Carroll had to contend with a couple of laps behind the safety car after a first corner clash between JR Hildebrand (USA) and Franky Cheng (China) took out sprint race runner-up Narain Karthikeyan (India).

When the race restarted, Hildebrand turned out to be the only real thorn in Carroll's side, as the Irish driver twice caught him to try to lap him, which caused his pace to suffer both times. But once ahead, after the second mandatory pitstop, Carroll cruised to a comfortable victory.

Jeroen Bleekemolen took second for the Netherlands, jumping ahead of Piccione in the opening round of pitstops. Piccione slipped to fifth at this point, also leaking places to Jani and Albuquerque with that tardy first stop.

Carroll extended a 7.6s lead after his first stint, but Bleekemolen chipped away and narrowed it back to 4.4s before the second round of stops. Carroll lost a little more time there, as he couldn't be released due to a queue of cars coming into the pits, but still rejoined well clear in the lead.

His final run of the season was a simple task, apart from the difficulty of lapping Hildebrand.

"I was close enough to be in his dirty air, but there were no blue flags and his pace was good, so it was a bit frustrating," said Carroll, who waved his fist a couple of times and had to be calmed down over the radio. "He could've let me past, but didn't."

Bleekemolen finished well clear of outgoing champion Jani, who admitted: "This was very difficult weekend, but I was happy to find some pace in the feature despite the broken exhaust. We found some pace finally, but unfortunately we didn't find it earlier this weekend."

Piccione jumped back ahead of Albuquerque at the final round of pitstops to claim fourth, and only failed by 0.7s to depose Jani from the final spot on the podium.

Mexico's Salvador Duran finished sixth, ahead of Britain's Dan Clarke, who showed some excellent pace and set one of the race's fastest laps despite being another to suffer a broken exhaust. In a race of little overtaking, his pass on Australia's John Martin at Paddock was a highlight.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Adam Carroll Ireland 1h04m14.970s 2. Jeroen Bleekemolen Netherlands + 10.156s 3. Neel Jani Switzerland + 13.564s 4. Clivio Piccione Monaco + 14.293s 5. Filipe Albuquerque Portugal + 16.484s 6. Salvador Duran Mexico + 21.810s 7. Dan Clarke Great Britain + 23.409s 8. John Martin Australia + 24.493s 9. Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy + 46.004s 10. Nicolas Prost France + 49.094s 11. Alan van der Merwe South Africa + 1m13.905s 12. Daniel Morad Lebanon + 1m16.257s 13. Satrio Hermanto Indonesia + 1 lap 14. JR Hildebrand USA + 1 lap Retirements: Aaron Lim Malaysia 27 laps Michael Ammermuller Germany 26 laps Earl Bamber New Zealand 6 laps Cheng Cong Fu China 0 laps Narain Karthikeyan India 0 laps Felipe Guimaraes Brazil 0 laps 
shares
comments
Carroll edges Ireland closer to title
Previous article

Carroll edges Ireland closer to title

Next article

Carroll credits team for Irish success

Carroll credits team for Irish success
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020