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Tricky weekend for Lloyd on BTCC return

Daniel Lloyd battled his way through a tricky return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at the weekend, with contact in the final round at Oulton Park curtailing his race-day progress.

After inking a late deal with BTC Norlin Racing on Wednesday last week, the Huddersfield driver had to contend with 45 kilograms of late entry ballast aboard his Honda Civic Type R. Driver and team worked hard to find the best set-up for the Yorkshireman and the best solution to manage the additional weight. This effort was rewarded a competitive car, closely-matching his team-mate Chris Smiley on race pace.

Despite the added ballast and with the Honda struggling with a gear cut issue, Lloyd managed to secure a creditable 22nd in qualifying.

“Unfortunately, we picked up a gear cut issue in Free Practice and qualifying so that dropped us back a bit, but the team did a great job to get it sorted for Sunday and the Civic was handling really well,” said Lloyd.

The weekend’s opening race was damage limitation for Lloyd, who raced to 25th at the flag.

“Race one was hard going with the weight and we just lost the brakes at the end,” explained Lloyd. “We had good pace in race two though – it’s just so tough to overtake there, but we managed to stay out of trouble and all things considered, finishing 17th was a great result.”

Free of the weight for race two, the 26-year-old made progress on the narrow circuit, cutting his way cleanly through the pack to claim 17th in the #26 Type R – just outside of the points.

Sadly, a start-line incident in the final race of the day put paid to Lloyd’s progress, with both BTC Norlin Racing Hondas unavoidably caught up in the melee and taken out of the contest with race-ending damage.

“We were really optimistic for the final race as we’d been getting quicker all day and closer to the points so it was such a shame to get caught up in someone else’s incident. I don’t know what caused the crash, someone just came across and into me on the start/finish straight and wiped myself and my team-mate Chris (Smiley) out of the race.”

Next up, it’s Lloyd’s home circuit – Croft in North Yorkshire – for Rounds 13, 14 and 15, 22/23 June. Heading into the pivotal mid-season meeting free of any weight, Lloyd is hopeful that he’ll be able to challenge for points to help the BTC Norlin team’s championship campaign – and he’s qualified on the front-row there before during his time at Eurotech Racing, again in the Civic Type R.

“I’d like to say a big thanks to Bert [Taylor] for offering me the chance to join the team and also massive thanks to the guys for making me feel so welcome. I really enjoyed working with them all this past weekend.

“I feel like we made some positive changes to the car to fit me better and I’m really looking forward to heading to Croft without the weight on-board, and seeing what we can do.”

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