24 September, 2013
British racing driver, Nick Padmore, delivered a sensational performance in the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship meeting at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend. Having found out that he was to be given the opportunity to step up to a race seat to make his Historic F1 debut only a week prior to the meeting, Reigate's Padmore shined by finishing 2nd in both of the weekends' races.
Racing the 1976 Walter Wolf Racing Williams FW05 for Hampshire-based WDK Motorsport at the legendary Belgian circuit, Padmore was right on the Superocean II Replica pace from the outset, setting the fastest time in a wet practice session on Wednesday leading up to the weekend.
On a drying track for Friday's qualifying session, Padmore waited until the final moments before producing an outstanding lap to put him on the front row of the grid alongside Michael Lyons' 1977 Hesketh 308E.
In Saturday's Race 1, Padmore made strong start and challenged Lyons for the lead in the opening stages as the pair pulled away from the rest of the field.
After 25 minutes of racing, Padmore took the chequered flag in P2, over 12 seconds clear of 3rd-placed Manfredo Rossi Di Montelera.
Another strong performance in Race 2 saw Padmore dicing and challenging with the later-produced ground-effect cars as he made his way to another 2nd place finish after 20 minutes of racing.
"This has been an incredible weekend and I'm so pleased for everyone at WDK Motorsport who have worked tirelessly to give me a car that I can race with such confidence.
"The results show just how far we've come with developing the car - in a relatively short space of time - and everyone in the team is fully motivated to take our program to the next level.
"So many people have played an important part of making this weekend happen and I can't thank them enough, especially Max (car owner Max Smith Hilliard) for putting faith in me and handing me such an incredible opportunity.
"I've been completely overwhelmed by the level of support I've received from so many people throughout the weekend - it's felt very surreal - and I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent me such kind messages.
"However, it doesn't stop here. We've got some exciting plans ahead and we are fully focused on where we are taking our development program. I can't wait get back in the car and add to what we have already achieved."
Full results from the Spa Six Hours meeting, provided by Masters Historic Racing, can be found at www.themastersseries.com/images/SP13_Results.pdf.