Historic F1 champ Nick Padmore’s ideal racer? A Mini
In a contemporary context his name is linked with success in powerful old cars. Nick Padmore is a multiple champion in the FIA Historic F1 series and his 1min 18.217sec, set almost three years ago at Goodwood aboard a Lola T70, remains the outright circuit record.
But when he’s not making headlines at retro events, Padmore can be found among the van-and-trailer clutter at club meetings, working with his father Keith on a Mini Miglia. “Dad raced a Miglia in the 1960s and ’70s,” he says, “and I have been obsessed with them ever since. I’ve been extremely lucky to race some awesome cars, but there has always been a thought gnawing away in the back of my mind: ‘One day I want to get a Miglia…’ It probably didn’t help that Dad kept telling me that I hadn’t really raced until I’d tried one.”
At the end of 2016 Padmore bought serial Miglia winner Bill Sollis’s old car, with a view to doing a few events – which turned out to be the Brands Hatch Mini Festival (“Where a whack in the second race set the programme back a bit”) and a November clubbie at the same venue.
“I’ve had it prepared to look exactly the same as Dad’s old car,” he says, “and I’m hoping he’ll do a few races in it. I have a very busy year in prospect, with several major historic events – including Monaco and Le Mans – but I’ll fit in as many Miglia races as I can. It’s something Dad and I can take away for the weekend to chill out. I love it.”