Gearbox Ends Race for Padmore & Rihon at Dijon
Monday 2nd July 2012
British sportscar racing driver Nick Padmore and co-driver Jean-Lou Rihon were unfortunately forced to retire from Round 4 of the V de V Endurance Proto Series at Dijon, France last weekend. After showing good pace in qualifying and for most of the race, a stuck throttle caused the paddle-shift system to go into safety mode and ultimately ended the #34 Team TFT entry's race.
Reigate's Padmore qualified in P6, just 9-tenths shy of pole in what was the tightest qualifying session so far this season, and made good use of his stint as Sunday's 3-hour endurance got under way, despite being hit by another car from behind on lap 2.
Fighting in a four-car battle for P2, Padmore was handed a drive-through penalty for warming his tyres on the installation lap, dropping him down the order to 14th position. For the remaining hour of his stint he put in consistently quick times to bring the car in for Rihon at half race distance in P6.
Rihon settled in to his stint right away, holding position but was soon struck with the mechanical problems and was left unable to continue competitively.
"Team TFT have been at the top of their game again this weekend so it's very frustrating to have to finish our race this way, and I'm also disappointed to have been given a drive-through. I think it was a harsh and undeserved penalty but we have to accept the decision by the stewards and move forward.
"I really enjoyed my stint and found some good pace in the car which we hope to unlock more of. We need to put this result behind us and take a lot of the weekend's positives away with us which we will build upon and develop to come back stronger at Paul Ricard."
The V de V Endurance Proto Series moves to the South of France for Round 5 at Le Castellet's Paul Ricard circuit on 31st August - 2nd September.