/ Motorsport

Ireland rule A1GP world

Updated: Sunday, 03 May 2009 19:27

Adam Carroll delivered a masterful display at Brands Hatch
Adam Carroll delivered a masterful display at Brands Hatch

Team Ireland secured their maiden A1GP World Cup of Motorsport title as driver Adam Carroll produced two masterful drives to take a double victory in the season finale at Brands Hatch.

Ireland had started the weekend two points behind defending champions Switzerland but utterly dominated the weekend to eventually take the title by a comfortable 17-point margin.

Ireland only needed a sixth-place finish in the final feature race to claim the title but Carroll ensured they took the spoils in style as he dominated the race from start to finish.

The 26-year-old got away cleanly from pole position and was able to control the pace from the front once the safety car departed the track after a first-corner crash involving India, China and USA.

The Team Netherlands car of Jeroen Bleekemolen did manage to keep Carroll in his sights but after the second round of stops the Irishman opened out his lead to a comfortable 10.156 seconds, with Switzerland finishing third as they were denied the title.

Carroll was elated to have delivered his team their first title.

‘It was a perfect weekend for us,’ he said. ‘We did what we wanted to do; the plan was to come here and win both races from pole. We proved we are too hard to beat. It could not have worked out any better and the momentum we had coming here was fantastic.

‘Now it is time for us to relax and enjoy it.’

Switzerland driver Neel Jani could not hide his disappointment at being denied a second-straight title.

‘This was very difficult weekend, but I was happy to find some pace in the feature despite a broken exhaust,’ he said.

‘We found some pace finally, but unfortunately we didn't find it earlier this weekend.’

Carroll had laid the groundwork for Ireland's title success with a superb victory in the day's sprint race at the Kent circuit.

Carroll dropped to second at the start as Mexico's Salvador Duran made a brave move round the outside of Paddock Hill Bend, but worked his way back to the lead after a good pit stop allowed him to leapfrog Duran, who fell to third.

Former GP2 driver Carroll then led home the Team India car of former F1 racer Narain Karthikeyan with Duran taking the final place on the podium.

Ireland's title rivals Switzerland could only manage eighth place in the opener which left them eight points adrift.

Leading final positions after the Feature Race: 1 Ireland (Carroll) 1hr 04mins 14.970secs, 2 Netherlands (Bleekemolen) 1:04:25.126, 3 Switzerland (Jani) 1:04:28.534, 4 Monaco (Piccione) 1:04:29.263, 5 Portugal (Albuguergue) 1:04:31.454, 6 Mexico (Duran) 1:04:36.780, 7 Great Britain (Clarke) 1:04:38.379, 8 Australia (Martin) 1:04:39.463, 9 Italy (Liuzzi) 1:05:00.974, 10 France (Prost) 1:05:04.064, 11 South Africa (van der Merwe) 1:05:28.875, 12 Lebanon (Morad) 1:05:31.227, 13 Indonesia (Hermanto) 1:04:16.252 +1 lap, 14 USA (Hildebrand) 1:04:19.441 +1 lap, 15 Malaysia (Lim) 0:37:36.390 +22 laps, 16 Germany (Ammermuller) 0:36:04.588 +23 laps, 17 New Zealand (Bamber) 0:10:09.420 +43 laps, 18 China (Congfu) 0:00:00.000 +49 laps, 19 India (Karthikeyan) 0:00:00.000 +49 laps, - Brazil (Guimaraes) no time

Championship Standings: 1 Ireland 112pts, 2 Switzerland 95, 3 Portugal 92, 4 Netherlands 75, 5 France 47, 6 Malaysia 43, 7 Australia 36, 7 New Zealand 36, 9 Monaco 35, 10 Great Britain 28, 11 USA 24, 12 India 19, 12 Mexico 19, 12 South Africa 19, 15 Brazil 18, 16 Italy 17, 17 Lebanon 8, 18 China 7, 19 Korea 4, 20 Indonesia 3, 21 Germany 2, 22 Canada 0, 22 Pakistan 0

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