American dream is alive for Adam Carroll
Adam Carroll takes the second step on his American odyssey this weekend when he re-joins the Andretti Autosport team for round 12 of the IZOD IndyCar series at the Mid-Ohio road course at Lexington.
The 27-year-old A1GP champion from Portadown made his US debut at Watkin’s Glen last month, qualifying in 10th place and then running in a five-car train battling for fifth in the race.
He lost out in a late-race shuffle behind the safety car, dropping back to 16th but still impressing team boss Michael Andretti who said Carroll did “an awesome job”.
Now he moves to Mid-Ohio, a track where he had his first taste of the powerful IndyCars in a test session ahead of the Watkin’s Glen race.
“The test at Mid-Ohio was great because I was finally able to get in the car and get a lot of laps under my belt,” he explained.
“We did over 100 laps — plenty of miles. Over the day I could tell how the track rubbered in, and it got more and more grip.
“The race in Watkins Glen was a good learning experience for all of those little things — leaving the pits, entering the pits and getting strapped into the car at the start.
“But it was a difficult race, probably because it was a completely different track — big and fast while Mid-Ohio is a very technical, busy little circuit.
“On top of that, when you haven’t been in car for a while, sometimes driving the car isn’t the tough part, it’s all the little details that you have to learn.
“And the races are almost two-hours long — almost half an hour longer than an F1 race.
“From warming up your tyres to things like hitting the push-to-pass button by mistake with my knee, there are so many little details that can add up to make a big difference. One thing that is really impressive with the IndyCars is the amount of downforce.
“I really had to learn where the limit was at Watkins Glen without going off course but keep at speed at the same time.”
Carroll continued: “The advantage of having been to Mid-Ohio before is that I can get up to speed faster. I was as quick as a lot of the guys around me during the test so hopefully I can build on that and stay close to the pace.”
Carroll hopes to carry all these lessons onto the circuit at Mid-Ohio where he will race alongside the quartet of Andretti drivers — Tony Kaanan, Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti — as he bids to secure a permanent place with them for next season.
The Honda 200 from Mid-Ohio is live on Sky Sports on Sunday night.