Brands Hatch, UK, 4th May, 2009; A1 Team Ireland are the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Champions of 2008/2009. Adam Carroll led the Ireland squad to two dominant victories in the final event of the season at Brands Hatch yesterday to win an historic world title for Ireland. Carroll and Team Ireland were unstoppable all weekend, taking two pole positions, two victories and a fastest lap to take the title by 17 points from reigning Champions Switzerland. Ireland’s perfect day began when Carroll won the Sprint Race with the help of more slick pit work from the Ireland crew who converted an early second place into a secure lead which Carroll held to the flag. In the Feature Race Carroll was in control throughout, leading from the start and keeping command of the race through the two pit stops to run out the winners over the Netherlands by just over ten seconds.
Ireland dominated the statistics of the season, ending the season with five wins, six pole positions, five fastest laps and three further podium finishes in a dream season for the squad. Afterwards Carroll described the emotion of taking the title: “That was fantastic,” said Carroll afterwards. “I always knew this was someday going to come and I knew I was ready to do the job so I’m ecstatic really. I’d like to thank the team for giving me the opportunity to prove what I can really do. I think I cried for most of the last laps. Actually, I really did cry on the in-lap. It is such a relief to get it done.”
Ireland Team Principal Mark Gallagher reflected on the achievement of winning the title after four long, hard seasons in A1GP. “I’m just so proud of everyone in this team for what we’ve achieved here. But this weekend is just the culmination of a long, hard climb to the top that has tested us all and to find out today that we have proved to be worthy of the challenge is emotional.“It’s been such a long time coming but it proves that if you want something enough then you can fight through all the difficulties to make it happen. I’d like to pay tribute our rivals particularly the Swiss and Portugal teams who have fought hard all year and thank them for the hard and fair competition we’ve enjoyed with them. I’d also like to thank all the fans, partners and sponsors for their help and support throughout the last four years and I hope that this title represents some reward for them.
“Adam has won this title with some style,” said Gallagher. “His arrival at the team was, I think, a catalyst for us. He’s a driver of a different calibre. With Adam we could set about fixing some of the issues we had identified as holding us back. He is part of a great team and he’s paid us back in spades.“This is a terrific experience. It’s very satisfying to make a plan and see it come to fruition. We’ve been sticking at it and grafting hard and today we’ve seen it through and carried off the World Cup of Motorsport™. It’s a terrific feeling.”