16 May, 2014
British racing driver Nick Padmore secured a well-deserved podium in the 2014 Historic Grand Prix of Monaco last weekend.
Behind the wheel of the 1975 Walter Wolf Racing Williams FW05, Padmore secured 4th place in qualifying on Saturday afternoon but was promoted to 3rd when the 2nd-placed car ran into troubles as Sunday’s race was about to start.
With the start aborted, the field was sent round for further warm-up lap when Padmore’s car started losing water. With the temperature of the car soaring as he took his grid slot, it looked as though the race was over for him before it has even begun.
Eventually the lights went out and the race got underway. Padmore made a perfect start, despite his temperature issues, but he was blocked by Charles Nearburg’s March off the line although he maintained position into St. Devote. However, Padmore quickly got passed and up into P2 as the field charged up the hill towards Casino Square.
As the race continued, and still struggling with high temperatures on his Williams, unsure whether he was going to be able complete the lap he was on, Padmore kept trying to keep cool air going through the car and eventually had to concede two places coming into the chicane.
From P4, he kept the car going and maintained as much pace as he could before taking back 3rd position and was able to start hunting down Nearburg for 2nd.
However, a heavy accident late on in the race forced the safety car to be deployed, halting Padmore’s charge, and the race was concluded under safety car conditions.
“I’m still waiting for it to sink in – I can’t believe it!
“Thank you so much to Max (car owner) who has given me this incredible opportunity and also everyone at WDK Motorsport who have worked so hard, not just this weekend but throughout our development programme.
“I almost got out the car on the grid and I could see the water spilling out of the car on one of the spectator TV screens. It was a very tough race and there was never a moment to relax – I just had to keep it going and do everything I could to get the temperature down.
“Max, who I’ve been coaching, had a difficult start to his race and was forced to start right from the back but he got his head down, got on with it and overtook a staggering 22 cars in his race which, I can tell you, is quite something round here! He also took P7 in his other race in the Surtees so I’m very happy for him and he has driven like a star this weekend.
“This result is for everyone who has supported me; Max, the guys at WDK, and all my friends and family – many of whom have flown out to be here – but especially my Mum and Dad who have been my biggest support right from my days karting at Tilbury.
“I still can’t believe we’ve managed to come all this way but I’m very grateful to be here and looking forward to celebrating with everyone in style tonight!”
Full results are available from the Automobile club de Monaco (ACM) website at http://acm.mc/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Document_636_Serie_F_D%C3%A9finitif.pdf.