Padmore & Rihon Positive After Le Mans Pace
Monday 2nd May 2011
Reigate racing driver Nick Padmore and co-driver Jean-Lou Rihon came away from Round 2 of the French V de V Championship at Le Mans, France content with a 9th position at the weekend. Having qualified in P4 out of thirty-three entries for the 4-hour endurance, the duo's Team TFT Norma M20 FC was hit with technical issues early on in the race, causing the team to make a series of unscheduled pitstops.
Padmore took the opening stint and was running strongly in the top six when, just six laps into the race, the throttle stuck open, forcing him to pit twice.
With the problem eventually sorted, Padmore re-joined the race way down the order in 28th position but capitalized on the changing weather conditions by bravely staying out on slicks as the rain came in. After an eventful and impressive drive in the wet, he handed the car over to Rihon in P10.
Rihon joined in 13th position and fought hard, putting in consistently solid lap times throughout his stint to bring the car home in P9 after 4 hours.
This weekend has been a bit up and down really. We were strong in qualifying and had very good race pace but we were just unable to convert that into a result that reflects it unfortunately.
I'm happy with how Jean-Lou (Rihon) and myself drove today and we're satisfied that we got the most from the race, given the problems we were faced, especially so early on.
This is the first time we have used Norma's new carbon-tub model of the M20 F, so it is still in its' early stages of development, but has a lot of potential which we will be working to unlock more of ahead of Motorland.
Le Mans is a fantastic town as well as circuit, and there's always a great atmosphere whenever I come here. Returning to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours would be a dream come true and it's something I have my eyes firmly set on for the future."
Round 3 of the French V de V Championship takes places at Motorland Aragon on 27-29 May. However Padmore and Rihon will turn their immediate attention to their first appearance in the Speed EuroSeries which takes place at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium this weekend, supporting the infamous 1000km of Spa.