Carroll and Jani Win Taupo Races
Carroll got off to a great start in Sunday's first race – first standing start in the history of A1 GP racing – and grabbed an early lead ahead of A1 Team Netherlands' Robert Doornbos and Switzerland's Neel Jani. However, Doornbos – who is looking to secure an Indy Car Series race seat this year – got back on Carroll's trails, as the race was heading to the first compulsory pit stop.
Carroll entered the pits first, followed by Doornbos a lap later. The Dutch driver managed to score a quick lap and could have hoped for the lead, should his team manage to release him quick enough to do so. However, A1 Team Netherlands failed on him at the pits and not only did he lose the chance to clinch first place, but also lost second to Jani.
Forth overall was France's Loic Duval, followed by New Zealand's Chris van der Drift. The top 6 was completed by Portugal's Filipe Albuquerque, with Italy's Edoardo Piscopo and Malaysia's Fairuz Fauzy finishing in the point-scoring positions.
The feature race was dominated by Carroll and Jani, who went head to head until the second (and final) compulsory stop. The Swiss driver took advantage of an anti-stall problem suffered by Carroll's car – which caused the Team Ireland car to stop on the pit lane – and got himself into the lead. The Irish crew gave Carroll a push in order to get his car moving, but it was too late. He rejoined the group late enough to give Jani a secure first win in 2009.
Albuquerque scored another podium for Team Portugal this year, as he finished the race in 3rd place, while followed by Australia's John Martin and Robert Doornbos. Loic Duval completed the Top 6, while followed by Marco Andretti.
Thanks to his win, Carroll strengthens his team lead in the overall classification, as A1 Team Ireland is now 13 points clear of second place A1 Team Switzerland. Portugal slipped into 3rd after the Taupo round, some 3 points behind Switzerland.