Padmore & Rihon Close in at Nogaro
Thursday 29th September 2011
Team TFT's Nick Padmore and co-driver, Jean-Lou Rihon, posted a strong 4th place finish, and 3rd in the Carbon Class, in Round 6 of the French V de V Championship at Nogaro, France last weekend.
Torrential rain threw Saturday's qualifying session into the mix and saw Reigate's Padmore qualify further down grid than the pair wanted with 11th position. However, after strong start by Rihon in Sunday's endurance, which took place in 28 degree heat, he was soon challenging for P8 until he was caught out by oil, dropped on the track by another car. The Belgian lost a few places but was back up in 10th before handing over to Padmore at half distance.
Padmore put in a series of consistently quick laps before the safety car was deployed, allowing the field to close in on each other.
Once the race was back under way he continued his charge and got the #34 car up to P4. As the race entered its final phase he did all he could for a podium, gaining almost forty seconds on the car in 3rd, but the chequered flag was dropped after four hours of racing and they had to settle for 4th position.
"It was a great race for us and we've been competitive right from testing at the start of the weekend. The conditions in qualifying made it very tricky though and it was difficult just to keep the car in a straight line so we started way down the grid, but we carried our pace through to the race and put in a strong challenge.
"Thank you to Team TFT who have done another great job this weekend. It would have been nice to get a win on home soil for the team as the headquarters is at here at Nogaro but we're satisfied we did all we could today with P4 and we also got 3rd in class so it's still very positive.
"We've definitely raised our game in the past few races and, after today's result, we've closed in even more on the championship leaders, so we're fully motivated to give it everything we've got in the last two races."
The penultimate round of the French V de V Championship takes place at Magny-Cours, France with a 6-hour night race on the 21st - 23rd October.