27 July, 2010
Reigate-based racing driver Nick Padmore enjoyed a successful weekend at the Silverstone Classic in the World Sportscar Masters, finishing 2nd in the Helmut Marko class and P6 overall with team mate Phil Hall.
Padmore qualified their 1971 Lola T212 prototype in class pole and P7 overall on the Friday of the meeting, and was the first non-Lola T70 on the timesheets.
By the first corner of Sunday's 1hr race, he had the Chris Fox Racing entry up into 3rd but was unable to match the mechanical power of the T70's, and dropped to P5. However, still in the class lead, Padmore provided the spectators with some great racing as he diced with a McLaren M1B and T70, before handing over the car to Hall in 3rd overall at the end of his 35min stint.
Hall made a solid stint and kept the car at the sharp end of the pack, eventually taking the chequered flag in 6th position overall and a well deserved 2nd in class.
"What a great weekend! - the Lola was just awesome", said a content Padmore. When I first drove the car on Monday in testing I knew we were going to be competitive.
"Racing against the T70s was also a great experience - when you're following them all you can see is these huge exhausts! Phil struggled with the gearbox on our car but drove solidly and consistently throughout his stint to bring the car home in 6th overall which we're really happy with.
"I would like to say a big thank you to Phil for inviting me to drive with him this weekend, and also Chris Fox Racing for preparing a competitive and reliable car, which was just a pleasure to drive."
Padmore was also on duty racing in the more contemporary Speed Series UK at Oulton Park at the weekend, with regular team mate Jean-Lou Rihon, who qualified the Norma UK entry in 4th position for Saturday's 3hr endurance.
A downpour just before the race lead to Rihon starting on wets but, with the track rapidly drying, found himself in the pits after 20 minutes changing on to slicks.
Running in P5 for most of his stint Rihon handed the car over to Padmore and changed back to wet rubber after another shower, unfortunately losing time in the pits when the car refused to start.
Once back underway Padmore managed to gain a place but the pair had to settle for 4th, in a race where only five cars made it to the end of the clock.
"The conditions were very tricky out there and you had to be so careful putting the power down, but the car felt really good and Oulton as a circuit is just mega.
"Jean-Lou didn't put a foot wrong and kept the pressure and pace up so, although we didn't get the result we wanted, progress has been made with the car this weekend and we're really looking forward to Paul Ricard."
Padmore now has a break in his 2010 racing calendar as he prepares for the next round of the V de V Championship at Paul Ricard which takes place on 3-5 September.