04 April, 2011
British racing driver Nick Padmore and co-driver Jean-Lou Rihon made an encouraging start to their 2011 French V de V campaign by finishing P6 at Jarama, Spain at the weekend.
The French-based Team TFT squad had only taken delivery of the all-new Norma M20FC days prior to the race, and with limited testing of the new car, the team decided to run with last year's M20F.
With the car having only been prepared on Friday night, Padmore only got 5 laps in the car on Saturday but qualified in 11th position for Sunday's 4-hour endurance. Belgian Rihon started the race but came into the pits after only 55 minutes, complaining of sickness, having dropped to P16.
Reigate's Padmore jumped in the car and showed blistering pace as he brought the car through the field into 6th position, and 3rd in class, where he stayed until the chequered flag was dropped.
It didn't all go to plan and it was a shame we couldn't use the new car, but I think we can be satisfied with P6. The decision to use the old car was very last minute and the team worked really hard through the night to get it prepared for qualifying.
"Jean-Lou did very well to stay in the car as long as he did as he was pretty ill when he handed the car to me. It was unfortunate and I think we would have finished higher up but 6th is respectable considering the problems we were faced with throughout the weekend.
"Now we can focus our efforts on testing and developing the new car for Le Mans."
The next round of the French V de V Championship takes place at Le Mans, France with another 4-hour race on 29th-30th April.