Sportscar focus for Carroll
Northern Irishman looking to move away from single seater racing
By William Esler at Donington Park. Last Updated: 02/10/12 3:49pm
Adam Carroll has told Sky Sports he is now focussing on a career in sportscar racing, having given up on his single-seater dream in Formula 1 or IndyCar.
The Northern Irishman was one of the hottest young talents in British motorsport and after dominating the 2008-09 A1 GP Series looked set for a move to F1.
But a lack of funding caused his career to stall, despite impressive performances during part-time stints in GP2, IndyCar, AutoGP and World Series by Renault.
The 29-year-old is now looking to a future in GT racing and made his debut in the FIA GT1 World Championship finale, filling in for Laurens Vanthoor at the WRT Audi Team.
"It has been really good. I have really enjoyed the weekend with the team," he told Sky Sports after the race in which he finished fourth.
"WRT is a really professional outfit and a really good bunch of lads as well and I fitted right in. They are good fun, but they race to win and that is the main thing.
"I have really enjoyed it and I hope this is an opportunity to step into this career path which I have been working hard on for the last year.
"The last few years have been difficult - lots of reasons why - but I tried really hard to go in a certain direction. After I won A1 GP I tried to go to Formula 1 and that didn't quite happen, then I tried IndyCar and I did two races with Andretti and really thought it was going to happen.
"But unfortunately in the end it fell through, but there you go. I tried hard and it didn't happen and now I am fully committed to this route. I am really enjoying it and that is the main thing."
His performances won him many admirers in America, given that he was immediately setting a respectable pace in his two-race IndyCar stint at Watkins Glen and Mid Ohio, in what was an uncompetitive car. He also reinforced his reputation in Europe with three podiums and a race win during his limited outings World Series and AutoGP in 2011.
"Yeah, I've won quite a few races now, I think I have 43 wins - five GP2 wins, six A1, about 19 Formula 3, I've tested in F1 so I have done lots now," he continued.
"I guess it is time to get a long term home and find somewhere that I can enjoy my racing and earn a living."
Eager to make up for lost time, Carroll is not aiming for just one race seat next year, but plans to be on contest as many different championships as he physically can in 2013.
"As many as possible, to make up for the lack of racing over the last few years," he said when asked what grid he wanted to be on next year.
"I still have been doing some testing and I have still managed to drive every couple months - big fast cars like the Lola LMP1 car and the World Series car. I've done quite a bit, I still did five GP2 races and three AutoGP last year and one World Series so it was actually quite busy towards the end of the season.
"But I have been there and done that. At that stage I was still working on IndyCar last year, but now this year I have switched my view to the GT sportscar world."
The Portadown driver was at the wheel of an Audi R8 at Donington Park and the German marque have a strong history in sportscar racing. Carroll himself has ties with the company from his DTM days and would love to continue that relationship.
"Absolutely, that would be fantastic. I did four DTM races in 2007 for the customer Audi team so I have a little bit of history with Audi - not a lot - but that went as well as it could really in a three year old car. It is a manufacturer that I would love to be with and hopefully something will come of it."