Last year at the Members’ Meeting the perennially quick Nick Padmore set the fastest lap of the Motor Circuit. Could he do it again this year? At the weekend we got our answer: he could.
Putting himself on pole for Sunday’s Bruce McLaren Trophy in Phil Hall’s Lola T70 Spyder, he clocked a 1 minute 17 second lap, a second quicker than last year.
GRR caught up with Nick after the session to ask how he did it – and also what it means to him. After all, the official lap record of 1min 20.4sec set jointly by Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart in 1965’s International Tourist Trophy race can never be beaten, so does this really count?
‘It’s brilliant to do a fast lap of Goodwood but really those guys back then, with those cars… they are the real heroes,’ Nick tells us.
‘I didn’t set out to break my time of last year. I haven’t driven the car since Revival when it was too sideways, so for 74MM we treated ourselves to new rubber – the first we have put on the car. The new tyres make a massive difference, and today is a very quick day…but I just jumped in and went for a drive. It felt pretty nice but not that fast, in fact I thought my time was a mistake…’
We asked Nick to talk us around what is likely to have been the fastest-ever lap of the circuit, starting at the chicane…
‘The important thing here is to try not to get wheelspin coming out of the chicane. Up to fifth gear on the start-finish straight then down to fourth for Madgwick. Here it’s all about
‘Then to Fordwater and a lift, hit the apex at 155mph. Carry fifth all the way to No Name, brake, down to fourth, off the brakes straight away and try to carry as much speed through St Mary’s, then back on the throttle hard all the way to Lavant and third gear.
‘I short shift half way through Lavant, not ideal but it helps because there’s so much torque. Lavant Straight in fifth I hit 170mph but try not to brake too late because there’s not a lot of room for an error at Woodcote.
‘Down into third gear and back on the throttle and my target here is to hit the rev limiter in third before I get on the brakes for the chicane. It’s just a thing I do and it’s how I gauge how much speed I am carrying at the corner. Brake and down to second for the chicane, then smooth as poss through the chicane and back down the straight.’
One minute 17 point something seconds later it’s done. Easy as that!
Photography by Drew Gibson