Padmore & Smith Hilliard Look Ahead to 'Big' 2014 with WDK Motorsport
Wednesday 8th January 2014
After an astounding 2013 season, British racing driver Nick Padmore's 2014 is already well underway as he and WDK Motorsport look to take their front-running form to a new level this year.
Having made a big impact on his debut in the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship at Spa-Francorchamps - finishing P2 in both races - Reigate's Padmore has been continuing to work closely with the Hampshire-based outfit and car owner/driver Max Smith Hilliard throughout an intensive winter testing programme.
Soon after Padmore's final race of last season, at the beginning of November, the 1976 Walter Wolf Racing Williams FW05 and 1977 John Player Special Lotus 77 were shipped to Estoril for a two-day shakedown before a further three-day test at Portimão in mid-December.
"Last year was just incredible and there were so many great moments. Obviously taking podiums in both races with the Wolf at Spa was something else, but also I had a great year coaching and working with Max, and he has made outstanding progress.
"His form is constantly improving and he made the perfect end to last season by taking 3rd and 2nd places in the final two races at Jerez - in what was only his first full season of racing.
"We are definitely working in the right direction to carry that pace and momentum through the winter and into next season.
"We've made some very positive progress with the cars in testing too and I feel right at home as a part of this package. There are a couple of areas we need to work on harder than others with the cars but WDK Motorsport provide a very tight and efficient unit, and our programme is well on track.
"There's been a short break for Christmas and New Year, but now it's straight back to business and I'm fully focused on the year ahead.
"Now we're well into our winter programme, with further tests planned over the next few months, and there are some very big and exciting plans to take this to another level in 2014 which we hope to announce in the next few weeks once things have been finalised.
"My main objective and focus though is to get Max up to a race winning pace. Having topped off last season with a 3rd, then a 2nd, I've got every confidence that his first win is just around the corner."
Padmore Confirma Extension of 2014 Calendar
Padmore and WDK Motorsport will also return to action in selected races with the 1978 March 783 Formula 3.
After taking a dominant win in the HSCC Open Wheel race, supporting the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone in November, the team will be looking to step up a gear with outings planned in the Classic F3 Championship.
Alongside his duties with WDK Motorsport, Padmore and father Keith are again looking forward to joining forces in their privately-entered 1965 Mini Cooper S.
The pair enjoyed several successful outings in the car last season, with notable highlights being a commanding victory in the Classic Touring Car Racing Club meeting at Mallory Park in August and 2nd place in the Pre-66 Anglo-French Battle at Brands Hatch back in June.
"We should be in for more 'edge of your seat', wheel-to-wheel racing again this season! Dad and I have really made a breakthrough with the Mini after a few reliability frustrations with the car in previous years.
"Last year we clinched our first win since we've had the car and it finished strongly in every race we entered, barely missing a beat.
"Unfortunately a calendar clash means we can't be there for a rematch at the Anglo-French Battle but we're hoping to take the car to one or two races in Europe.
"There's a lot to do this year; Max in the F1, the F3 and the Mini, and also I hope to be back out in a Radical, so naturally I'm keen for the racing season to start. There's plenty of work to be done in the meantime and no one is going to make it easy for us but we are working hard to make sure we are as best prepared as possible in all areas right from the first race."
Further announcements for Nick Padmore's 2014 racing season will follow in the coming weeks.