24 October, 2011
Reigate's Nick Padmore and Belgian co-driver, Jean-Lou Rihon, secured their maiden win in the French V de V Championship at Magny-Cours, France on Saturday evening. The result, coupled with their ever-improving form and strong results this season, takes the Team TFT pair from 4th to joint-1st in the championship standings.
Padmore was on form right from the outset of the weekend and on Friday night qualified the Norma M20 FC in P3 for Saturday's floodlit 6-hour endurance.
Despite picking up a stomach bug and feeling physically drained, Padmore held position for the first hour of the race but took the lead before handing over to Rihon at the two-hour mark.
Rihon rejoined in 2nd position but soon got back into the lead and pulled away, before coming in for a splash and dash pitstop for fuel during the safety car period. He completed his stint with a solid drive in 2nd position and handed over to Padmore for the remainder of the race.
With 40 minutes on the clock to go, Padmore took the lead again and posted a series of consistently quick times to win the race by a staggering four laps.
"That was an amazing race and I'm really pleased for everyone at Team TFT - we really deserved this win. Our pace and performance has been improving race on race and it was only a matter of time before we took to the top step of the podium but we've taken another big step forward this weekend.
"I felt really ill and I was really struggling at the start of the race but I somehow managed to put it to the back of my mind and keep it together. Jean-Lou (Rihon) was really impressive in the car and did a great job chasing down the leader and pulling away, which set me up perfectly for my final stint.
"I can't wait for Estoril - we have run very well there in the past few seasons and our package is better than ever so our aim now has to be to win the championship."
Padmore and Rihon will be out to carry the momentum through to the final round of the French V de V Championship which takes place at Estoril, Portugal on 18th - 20th November.