Noel Coward once said that an out of work actor isn't an actor. The playwright may therefore have disapproved of Adam Carroll's claim to be a racing driver over recent seasons. At the Hungaroring two weeks ago, the Northern Irish racer entered only his third race meeting in approaching three years.
Carroll raced most recently in Formula Renault 3.5
Substituting for the injured Walter Grubmuller at P1 Motorsport, borrowed baggy overalls and crash helmet failed to prove any hindrance to the man that made Ireland the A1GP champion. A solid podium in the second Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend demonstrated that Carroll's involuntary absence from the cockpit had diminished none of his ability. During the post-race press conference, the Portadown man light-heartedly relayed how young guns Jean-Eric Vergne and Albert Costa - occupying the top podium positions - had teased him that they were still karting when Carroll had won at the circuit in GP2 back in 2007.
Such a woeful lack of seat time could eat away at the self-belief of any talented Formula 1 aspirant in his late 20s. But Carroll has his sights set firmly on America. The country's positive outlook has clearly rubbed off, and any attempt to touch on the difficulties of landing a top-line IndyCar seat changes his demeanour from sanguine to forthright.
"It's never ideal [being out of a car for so long] but there is no stigma in the States over not having raced in a while, or even an age. All of that is rubbish. Dan Wheldon did one race this year, and I don't know if you heard about it, but he won it," effuses Carroll, referring to Wheldon's victory at the Indianapolis 500.