16 November, 2009
British racing driver Nick Padmore made a stellar appearance in the VW Fun Cup round at Snetterton at the weekend. Sharing with Fun Cup regular, Richard Ince, in the Richmond Racing entry, he won the sprint race and only just missed out on victory with P2 in the 6-hour 'Into the Night' feature race.
Reigate's Padmore, who was drafted in for the weekend to replace Ince's regular team mate who had prior commitments, set the fastest time in qualifying by over a second to put the car on pole position for the sprint race. As the 45-minute race got under way, Padmore left the field behind, pulling out a substantial lead before handing the car over to his team mate.
Ince delivered a sterling drive throughout his 15-minute stint to maintain position before handing back over to French V de V pedaller, Padmore, who brought the car across the line over 16 seconds ahead of the second-placed Team Honeywell entry.
With the grid for the feature race being decided by car numbers randomly drawn from a hat, Ince and Padmore were to step up to the line down in 18th on the grid. However, after just one lap in torrential rain, Padmore had macheted his way through the field and was up in P8, and a handful of laps later was running in 2nd, catching the leader.
Just as everything seemed to be running perfectly, the oil and water temperature lights came on in the car, forcing Padmore to return to the pits. After a once-over of the car, he was sent back out in P8 for the remainder of his stint before handing over to Ince.
Rejoining the endurance in 7th place, Ince drove superbly in tricky conditions - to such an extent that the safety car was deployed at one point until the rain eased - to catch and overtake P6.
With an hour to go Padmore was put behind the wheel for the remainder of the race and grabbed P2 with only 8 minutes in hand before the chequered flag was dropped, ensuring a well-deserved place on the second step of the podium.
"Everything really came together this weekend and Richard drove faultlessly", commented Padmore. The last time we raced together was in 2005 in a Radical SR8 here at Snetterton and we won so this is a good track for us! Seriously though, it's always good to be the weekend's pace-setters, and I really feel we got the maximum out of the car and ourselves as a team.
"The conditions were treacherous for Race 2 but everything ran pretty smoothly and our pace all weekend was consistent so, although we just missed out on the double, we are more than content with pole, a win, and a second place."
Padmore will wrap up his 2009 racing season with another 6-hour endurance next weekend - this time for the final round of the French V de V Championship at Estoril, Portugal with regular team mate, Jean-Lou Rihon.