Andretti Autosport’s newest driver, Irish pilot Adam Carroll, got to meet the Indy media for the first time today in a team press conference. The former A1 Grand Prix champion will make his IZOD IndyCar Series debut during the 4th of July weekend at Watkins Glen International and will be backed primarily by Boost Mobile — which has returned to the team as an associate sponsor of Danica Patrick.
I got to talk with him for a couple of minutes after the conference. Here’s what he had to say about joining the three-time IndyCar champs:
CE: You said you had a few test days in an IndyCar, is that correct?
Adam Carroll: No, actually. I actually drove a Champ Car for a couple days, so that’s all, that’s the only thing I’ve done in the U.S. An IndyCar is just about the only car I actually haven’t driven yet. I’ve pretty much driven everything else — Formula Ford, Formula Three, GP2, A1GP, Formula One, DTM, touring cars, everything (laughs). It’s a car I’ve been wanting to get into for a long time, and I’m looking forward to it.
CE: How has it been acclimating to the atmosphere over at Andretti Autosport?
Adam Carroll: It’s easy. They make you feel so at home. I felt comfortable straight away and I think that was one of the things that really helped this deal come together. I think through A1, [team owner] Michael [Andretti] got to see what I could do in the car and I’d like to thank [the team] for giving me this opportunity…They’re the ultimate professionals and really good people.
Coming from Europe, it’s just completely cut-throat there — it doesn’t really matter how much talent you’ve got, it’s all to do with money. To come here, it’s like a breath of fresh air and I’m working with some good people. Finally, hopefully, I’m on the road like [teammate] Ryan [Hunter-Reay] and I can have a good career.
CE: How did Michael Andretti first get in contact with you?
“It was just a phone call really…I think there had been some discussion over the year just because of what we were doing in A1. [The team] ran in A1 and Marco [Andretti] ran, I think, three races. It just went from there, really. It started in October and we worked really hard to put this together. It’s finally coming good.