19 June, 2012
Having parted company with RAW Motorsport, British sportscar racer Nick Padmore looked set to miss Rounds 7 and 8 of the Dunlop Radical UK Cup at Brands Hatch, Kent, and unable to defend his Supersports championship lead. However, having received a last-minute phone call on Wednesday, he was secured a seat in the works Radical SR3 alongside Phil Abbott, whom Padmore shared with in his debut season of Radicals back in 2002.
Qualifying saw both Abbott and Padmore set the 3rd fastest time in class for their respective sessions on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
Abbott started Race 1 and made a good start for the #33 entry, enjoying a hard battle with Gary Kane for P2, before handing over to Padmore on lap 24 in 2nd position.
Padmore rejoined the race in 3rd and snatched back 2nd with a bold move under braking for Paddock Hill Bend before going on the hunt for leader Colin Noble. Although he managed to significantly close the gap on Noble, Padmore ran out of time and settled for the number two spot on the podium.
In Race 2 Padmore started and got away well as the safety car pulled in. Challenging Alex Kapadia in the Marks Electrical car for the lead on the exit of Clearways, Kapadia squeezed Padmore onto the grass and towards the pit wall. Padmore was forced to lift off as Kapadia kept his foot in on the fastest part of the circuit and drew a gap on the works Radical.
Abbott jumped in the car on lap 29 and rejoined the pack in 4th, getting back up to P3 after a solid performance with just 3 laps to go.
"Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to Phil and Radical Sportscars for giving me the opportunity to race this weekend. I think I adapted to the new car quite quickly and I knew all the guys in the team anyway so we all started working productively right away.
"The races were tough but I'm very happy with two podium finishes this weekend and to have scored good points for the championship."
Padmore also entered the Sanwa Trophy Mini Endurance, listed in the same bill as part of Brands Hatch's annual Mini Festival. Racing with his father Keith in their privately-entered 1965 Mini Cooper S, the pair overcame reliability issues in qualifying which hampered their grid position, to finish in 10th position.
"That was such an enjoyable race! Dad drove really well and handed the car over to me in good health. We had some problems with the gear selector in qualifying but overall the car is improving in reliability and we're getting more and more confident with it, so we're just pleased to finish and to have had great fun racing it."