Adam Carroll gave Ireland an early Christmas present by securing a second A1GP win of the season in the Sepang feature race – ensuring the team will top the points standings into the New Year in the process.
Starting from pole position, Carroll dominated the race after the expected challenge of Great Britain failed to materialise and he ended up a comfortable winner by over 15 seconds from Portugal's Filipe Alburquerque.
When the lights went out for the start, Carroll made the best getaway to lead into turn one from Lebanon's Daniel Morad, with Watts having got away slowly from the front-row of the grid in the British car. Morad was only second for a short period however as Albuquerque found a way past into second place but the Safety Car was soon to be deployed with India and sprint race winners Switzerland involved in separate incidents on track.
It left Ireland leading from Portugal, Lebanon and Malaysia, although Fairuz Fauzy was able to make light work of getting past Morad on the restart to take third. Watts tried to then pass the Lebanese car but both ran wide and Watts ended up making contact with France as he attempted to recover – damaging the nose on the British car and leaving the French machine with a puncture.
The pit-stop windown soon opened and once the stops had shuffled through, it was Carroll leading the way from Albuquerque, Fauzy and American Marco Andretti, having his strongest run to date ahead of Adrian Zaugg and John Martin.
The home fans wouldn't have reason to cheer for long however as on lap 18, Fauzy dived into the pits – where the team clearly wasn't anticipating his arrival. After much confusion, he was back on his way but had dropped down outside the top ten as a result with Andretti now up to third place.
Despite Albuquerque's best efforts, Carroll was able to control things from the front to secure the dominant success although the Portuguese team was able to continue the kind of form that saw it take a first A1 win at Chengdu last time out. Andretti completed the podium for the US ahead of Martin, Zaugg and Earl Bamber who made solid progress through the field for New Zealand.
As for Fauzy, he had to console himself with tenth place having heard what he thought was a call to pit shortly before diving into pit lane for his 'non-stop'.
For full results, CLICK HERE