21 May, 2012
Team TFT's Nick Padmore and Jean-Lou Rihon were joined by Simon Phillips for Round 3 of the V de V Series at Motorland Aragon, Spain last weekend. Despite suffering from a gearbox issue in qualifying and wishbone failure during the 6-hour race, the trio still managed to score a points finish with 6th position.
A problem with the electronics on the paddle-shift system caused a small fire during Saturday's qualifying session, forcing the #34 entry to opt to using the stick-shift back-up for the race.
From 7th, Rihon took the opening stint for Sunday's race but was immediately hit with further gearbox issues. Unable to select a gear lower than 4th, he was pushed down the order to P15 and pitted after 4 laps.
He rejoined and set about making up for lost time delivering a solid performance before handing over to Phillips for the mid-race stint.
Phillips was soon back in the pits after being hit with a broken wishbone which, thanks to great teamwork by the Team TFT crew, was changed within only 3 minutes. Once back out, he kept up consistent pace before swapping seats for Padmore who took the remaining 1 hour 50 minutes.
Padmore had a trouble-free stint and was able to put in a series of quick laps before getting the call from the pit wall to turn the engine down to conserve fuel, and he crossed the line for the final time, after 160 laps, in 6th position.
"We had a few problems with the car that may have cost us a podium but Team TFT have again done a fantastic job this weekend to resolve them efficiently and work our strategy around them. Also, our engineer, Cedric, calculated and managed our fuel load precisely which allowed us to push when we needed to, so a great effort from him too.
"Taking into account everything that was thrown at us this weekend I think we got the best result possible but we will definitely be looking to improve as we head to Dijon next time out."
Round 4 of the V de V Series takes place at Dijon, France on 29th June - 1st July. However, Padmore returns to the cockpit with an appearance in historics this weekend as he teams up with his father, Keith, for the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch GP, racing their privately-entered 1965 Mini Cooper S in the Pre-66 Touring Cars race.