28 September, 2010
British racing driver Nick Padmore and Belgian co-driver Jean-Lou Rihon matched their best placed finish of the season at Dijon, France in Round 6 of the V de V Championship at the weekend. Off the back of a P4 at Paul Ricard last time out, having run in 3rd before having to stop for fuel, the pair seem to be overcoming the mechanical problems that have cost them strong results earlier in the season, by once again just missing out on a podium.
It looked like their Norma UK entry would not be able to get out for Friday testing before officials decided to call off the session anyway due to torrential rain, meaning the entire field would have to wait until qualifying on Saturday to get any track time.
Qualifying conditions weren't much better but the session went ahead as planned with Padmore and Rihon managing to set the 7th fastest time out of the 23 cars taking part.
On race day morning the track had dried but was looking ready for another downpour, so the team opted to set the car up for wet conditions but run with slicks just to be safe.
Rihon started the 3-hour race and settled in to his stint, running in 9th position before handing over the Norma M20F to Reigate's Padmore. Padmore left the pit lane still in 9th but was soon flying, showing blistering pace in a car not properly set up for the conditions, and eventually took the chequered flag in a fantastic and thoroughly deserved P4.
"Another great result," said Padmore. It was tricky as we had no real testing on Friday because of the weather, so we just had to study data and video from last year to set the car up.
"Jean-Lou drove a great race and posted consistently competitive times, managing to keep in P9 before handing the car to me which made my job a lot easier. We had wet settings on the car so it was a real handful to drive but it flew and didn't miss a beat.
"The team has really come together in the past two races which is reflected with our results, so a big thank you to everyone for all their efforts. Hopefully we can maintain our form and maybe get a podium at Magny-Cours, which is a night race so I'm particularly looking forward to it."
The next round of the French V de V Championship takes place at Magny-Cours, near Nevers in central France, on 22 - 24 October.