Adam Carroll returns as Luca Filippi switches
20 July 2011
A reshuffle in the GP2 driver line-up for the rest of the season commencing this weekend will see Northern Ireland driver Adam Carroll return to the series in which he made his name, replacing Luca Filippi in the Super Nova Racing #17 car alongside Fairuz Fauzy.
Filippi is moving into the Scuderia Coloni #19 car, replacing teenager Kevin Ceccon who has opted to focus on his Auto GP season.
Carroll, 28, originally competed in GP2 with Super Nova in 2005 and finished fifth in the driver's championship, before switching to Racing Engineering in 2006 and then two partial seasons in 2007 and 2008 with FMS International, winning five races in total. His achievement in spearheading Team Ireland to the final A1GP World Cup of Motorsport title in 2008/9 led to two outings in IndyCar with Andretti Autosport in 2010, and this year he has appeared in Auto GP and Formula Renault 3.5 Series events.
"I am really looking forward to getting back into GP2 with Super Nova, I have great memories with the team," said Carroll. "It's never easy as GP2 is a tough championship, and it's even tougher coming in mid-season. I will just have to prove myself to people and come out with good results. Thank you to David [Sears, team principal] for putting me back in the car - it feels good to be back."
Carroll spoke recently of his hopes to return to IndyCar in the future, with a possible one-off deal to put him into the Motegi race the week after the end of the GP2 season in September. "Andretti Autosport is where I want to be, and I'm working flat-out to make it happen," he was reported as saying last week. "I'm working on a sponsor at the moment."
In the meantime, Carroll will make his first GP2 start in three years at this weekend's German round.
Team principal David Sears said, "We'd like to welcome Adam Carroll back into our team who we have fond memories of after the success we enjoyed together in the inaugural season of GP2 in 2005." He added that Carroll's signing tied in with a title sponsorship deal that the team would be announcing shortly.
Sears also thanked Luca Filippi for his services, as the 25-year-old Italian was released from his contract to take up an offer from Scuderia Coloni. "The whole team would also like to thank Luca Filippi for all of his efforts this season and I am sure that he has a great future ahead of him."
Filippi will replace Kevin Ceccon, who originally got the Coloni drive when the team's original driver Davide Rigon suffered serious leg and ankle injuries in a sprint race crash at the GP2 season opener at Istanbul Park in Turkey. Although Rigon was successfully operated on the following day, no date has been set for his return to racing and Filippi's season-long, full-time switch appears to confirm that Rigon will not be returning to active duty for the remainder of this season.
"I'm happy that a car that should have been driven by Davide Rigon, and that after his injury passed on to Kevin Ceccon, will be driven again by an Italian driver," said Paolo Coloni. "For me thinking about Luca to step-in was a pretty natural choice. Pushing the best talents from our Country has always been our philosophy, and I feel that Luca perfectly fits this line."
Filippi competed for Coloni in the last round of the final GP2 Asia series at Imola earlier this year. He is currently 13th in the GP2 standings with 9pts after five rounds, while Ceccon has not yet finished in the points. Coloni have only one point so far this year with Michael Herck's sixth place in the Valencia sprint race.
Speaking of Ceccon's decision to step down, Coloni said: "With Auto GP being in the hottest moment of its season, with two races in 3 weeks, Kevin decided to focus on his main program for the 2011 season, which makes a lot of sense as he is also fighting for the title there."
The next GP2 race is this weekend at the Nürburgring as the support race to the F1 Grand Prix of Germany at the same venue. Practice will take place on Friday morning after F1 Free Practice 1, with qualifying in the afternoon after FP2. The feature race is on Saturday afternoon at 2.40pm with the sprint race on Sunday morning starting at 9.35am.