Gearbox Ends Race for Padmore & Rihon at Dijon

2nd July 2012

British sportscar racing driver Nick Padmore and co-driver Jean-Lou Rihon were unfortunately forced to retire from Round 4 of the V de V Endurance Proto Series at Dijon, France last weekend. After showing good pace in qualifying and for most of the race, a stuck throttle caused the paddle-shift system to go into safety mode and ultimately ended the #34 Team TFT entry's race.

Reigate's Padmore qualified in P6, just 9-tenths shy of pole in what was the tightest qualifying session so far this season, and made good use of his stint as Sunday's 3-hour endurance got under way, despite being hit by another car from behind on lap 2.

Fighting in a four-car battle for P2, Padmore was handed a drive-through penalty for warming his tyres on the installation lap, dropping him down the order to 14th position. For the remaining hour of his stint he put in consistently quick times to bring the car in for Rihon at half race distance in P6.

Rihon settled in to his stint right away, holding position but was soon struck with the mechanical problems and was left unable to continue competitively.

Nick Padmore:
"Team TFT have been at the top of their game again this weekend so it's very frustrating to have to finish our race this way, and I'm also disappointed to have been given a drive-through. I think it was a harsh and undeserved penalty but we have to accept the decision by the stewards and move forward.

"I really enjoyed my stint and found some good pace in the car which we hope to unlock more of. We need to put this result behind us and take a lot of the weekend's positives away with us which we will build upon and develop to come back stronger at Paul Ricard."

The V de V Endurance Proto Series moves to the South of France for Round 5 at Le Castellet's Paul Ricard circuit on 31st August - 2nd September.


Padmore Makes Return to Single Seaters

Padmore was invited by Frenchman Jaques Medard to race his former Formula Renault 2.0, originally raced by Scuderia Toro Rosso's Jean-Éric Vergne, in the first of the three V de V Monoplace races on Saturday morning at Dijon.

Having only been invited the day before, and without any preparation or time in the car prior to the 20-minute sprint race, Padmore had to start from 31st and last on the grid. However, within a few laps he adapted to the car and made his way up to a very respectable 15th position by the end of the 16-lap race.

Nick Padmore:
"I would like to say a huge thank you to Jaques for giving me such an opportunity and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the race! I haven't raced a single-seater since my Formula Palmer Audi days back in '99 so it was a great experience and surprise to be offered to me at the last minute - the next thing I knew I was sat at the back of the grid not really knowing what to expect!

"If an opportunity arises to do any further racing in the car I would jump at the chance. With a bit more preparation and a qualifying session, I know I could be a lot more competitive but overall it was great racing."

Spindrift Media

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