F1: Carroll still chasing a Virgin drive

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarWednesday, December 2nd, 2009

 
 

A1GP champion Adam Carroll is unlikely to be able to defend his World Cup of Motorsport title for Ireland next year after financial troubles floored the series – but its loss could still be F1’s gain.

The Portadown driver has told a Northern Irish newspaper that he is in negotiations for an F1 drive and is confident of stepping up to open wheel racing’s top flight next year.

He is thought to be chasing a vacancy at the Virgin F1 squad, set to be run by Manor Motorsport, although he did not confirm which team he was talking to.

The Belfast Telegraph caught up with Carroll during the annual annual Champions of Motorsport dinner in Belfast, which raised more than £25,000 for a children’s medical research charity.

He told the paper: “We’re in the middle of negotiations with one of the new teams coming into F1 and I’m hopeful of winning a drive and making the final step to the top of the sport.”

But Carroll faces stiff competition for the remaining Manor/Virgin seat. The team has already signed Toyota refugee Timo Glock and is thought to be talking to hotly-fancied GP2 graduate Lucas di Grassi.

• And Carroll is not the only A1GP veteran heading to pastures new. Status GP, the squad that ran the Team Ireland entry, is working on its preparations for the upcoming GP3 feeder series with new personnel and team HQ.

Former A1 Team Ireland boss Mark Gallagher is working with partners David Kennedy and John Hynes to ensure their team is in the best possible shape to enter the series.

Designer Gary Anderson and former A1 Team Canada principal Simon Cayzer will join Status GP at its new Silverstone headquarters.

It will be competing alongside teams including Manor, Carlin and Hitech, as well as the GP2 front-runners ART and a team born out of a partnership between Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Mark Webber which aims to boost racing opportunities for young Australians.

Kennedy told the Irish Independent newspaper: “The GP3 Series is a fantastic way for Status GP to expand its activities, and we firmly believe this category will quickly establish itself as an essential stepping-stone to Formula 1.”

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