Adam Carroll has enjoyed a fine season to date in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, helping Team Ireland into the points lead heading to the fourth round of the campaign in New Zealand. caught up with the former GP2 racer during the annual Autosport International show to look at the season so far...
Adam, so far, so good for Team Ireland this season...

Adam Carroll:
It is indeed. We've had a great start to the season although Zandvoort wasn't too good! I've long erased that from my memory though...

We turned up in China and did the job there with a first and a second and then went to Sepang aiming to come away from the weekend leading the championship. We did that with fifth in the sprint race and a win by 16 second from pole position in the feature race - which was very good. We know the rest of the championship will be very tough, but we are going to try as hard as we can and give it everything to try and hold on to this lead and win the title.
Prior to this season, Ireland has had its fair share of bad luck and maybe hasn't got the results that were expected. What has changed this year?

Adam Carroll:
Last year was my first year in A1GP. Even then, the team was very good and there has never been a problem with the preparation of the car and the presentation of the team - it has always been the best. However, the driver/engineer combination never gelled but this year we have Gerry Hughes onboard as a new engineer with all his experience from Formula One. The new car is also a factor with a lot more downforce and Michelin tyres; it is a lot more like a real racing car. Between the combination of engineer/driver and the preparation the team has put in, the hard work is finally paying off with results.
Do you think you are more suited to the new car as a driver?

Adam Carroll:
Well the old car was very difficult to drive. It was inconsistent, although it made for some great racing and was unique in its own way. It really was time for a chance and time to bring things up to date and the new car does that, powered by Ferrari with a lot of horsepower and a lot of downforce. That suits drivers like me who have the experience of something like GP2 and can make a difference with things like set-up changes. It is also consistent, you know what to expect and can get the most from it.
Is the new car difficult to drive at all?

Adam Carroll:
Not at all. The old car was difficult because of the inconsistencies. There were a lot of good guys who turned up and couldn't understand why they couldn't be quick in it. It took me a few weekends to get into it to be fair but then you figured out what made it work. With the new car, you have the downforce so when everything is working, it's a lot better. Copse in the Silverstone test was 145mph minimum so that's GP2 speeds, if not quicker. To drive a car with a lot of downforce is always fun.
Do you think you can maintain the form of the past two meetings when we go to Taupo?

Adam Carroll:
To win a race by 16 seconds is always nice and a bit of a luxury; I don't expect to that every weekend. We have been consistent in terms of pace through the season so far but we can't underestimate how strong A1GP is with drivers like Neel Jani, Loic Duval and Felipe Albuqueque - all these guys who have been around for a while and have a lot of experience. I don't care if I win a race by 16 seconds or a tenth of a second as long as we are consistent and have the opportunity.
Is A1GP the main focus for you now in 2009 or are you still looking for something for the regular season?

Adam Carroll:
No, this is it for me and I am 100 per cent behind this. This is the best opportunity I have had in my life. I get paid for this and am actually a professional racing driver but more importantly, it is giving me the support and consistency that I have never had. I believe this is my opportunity to push and hopefully make my way towards Formula One.
So you feel A1 could open the door just as much as a strong season in GP2?

Adam Carroll:
Certainly. Giorgio Pantano won the GP2 title last season but never got a look-in anywhere. That doesn't surprise me as it is very political, who gets in where, from a very young age now. I have always known that and I have never had the money behind me, I haven't had the millions you need, so I have to sneak in through the back door - a bit like Eddie Irvine did. I believe I have the right people around me, from team boss Mark Gallagher, to my engineers and our investors and I believe my chance will come.



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