27 July, 2009
Sportscar racer Nick Padmore took a superb 2nd place in Saturday evening's Denny Hulme Trophy Race for World Sports Car Masters at the Silverstone Classic, partnering Ian Bankhurst in the PromotaSport-entered 1973 Arbath Osella PA1. Also the Reigate resident, along with father Keith, made a strong display in the U2TC (Under 2 litre Touring Cars) race in his family-run 1965 Mini Cooper S before a mechanical failure put an end to their efforts.
After qualifying the Mini, which was struggling with fuel pump problems, in 7th in class on Friday, Padmores Junior and Senior knew they had their work cut out and it was decided that the former would start the hour-long fixture.
Two laps into the race and Padmore Jr. had the Mini up to P5 and was hot on the tail of the class leaders before diving into 2nd position as the race went on. The car was handed to Keith Padmore at the half-distance mark who kept up the dogfights with the Minis of class rivals, Ian Bankhurst and Peter Baldwin. However they were forced to retire their entry after problems with the left-front wheel hub with only a matter of minutes before the chequered flag was dropped.
Then it was up to Padmore Jr. to forget his frustrations and focus on the 1 hour 30 minute World Sports Car Masters later that day, this time joining forces with Bankhurst.
After making a superb getaway from 3rd in class, Padmore was forced off the track and onto the grass as the field made its way down the Hanger Straight on lap one, costing him eight valuable places. However, he pushed and pushed, eventually making his way up to P2 behind the Chevron B16 FVC of former IndyCar pilot Bobby Rahal, when a competitor dropped oil all over the racing line in sector one.
Like many others, Padmore had a moment through Copse corner after running over a patch of oil but managed to keep the car under control, only running wide onto the astroturf. Four laps later and race control deployed the safety car while dust was put down to soak up the spillage, with the red Osella leading its class.
While under the safety car, Padmore handed the reins to Bankhurst who drove brilliantly in the slippery conditions as the sun fell and night kicked in.
Bankhurst dropped to 3rd place but made a stunning overtaking manoeuvre to snatch back 2nd (11th overall), which he hung onto for the rest of the race.
"This is a fantastic result for everyone and Ian (Bankhurst) drove superbly", said a delighted Padmore. I had only four laps in the car in testing on Thursday so to come away with 2nd is incredible. The whole team have done a faultless job all weekend so this one's for them.
"It was a shame we had to drop out of the U2TC race in the Mini this morning as everyone has worked so hard on the car and we had great pace throughout but I guess it wasn't to be.
"I have to say a huge thank you to Fat Cat Design, PromotaSport, Ian (Bankhurst), my dad, Martin Ennis, all the boys at Team Matrix for their enthusiastic help with the Mini, Spindrift Media and everyone else who came along to show their support this weekend - they are the people who made it happen - thank you."