LLOYD TALKS THRUXTON
Having announced his intentions on the BTCC earlier this year, Dan Lloyd made his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship comeback at Thruxton earlier this month, kicking off his first campaign in the UK’s premier motorsport series since 2018.
Tricky weather conditions and safety car periods truncated the opening weekend at the high-speed Hampshire circuit, with Lloyd delivering a solid start to his maiden competitive outing in the Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra as he opened up his championship points tally.
Initially struggling to unlock the Astra’s full potential during Saturday’s qualifying session in intermittent rain and high winds; Lloyd found himself towards the back of the field for the inaugural race of 2021.
“The first two practice sessions were good in the wet and we were looking really positive. We made a lot of changes to the car to put the grip to the front for qualifying but then it dried out. We ended up going out with cold rear tyres and hot fronts and the car was such a handful. I had some huge moments and couldn’t capitalise on the drying conditions. To be honest, I think it was also a bit of me being out of practice in those conditions, after racing in Europe for the past two years in the dry.”
Starting from 22nd on the grid for the opening contest he showed grit and determination to work his way back up the order during the action-packed first and second races, claiming 16th and 14th place finishes respectively and collecting his first points-finish of the season.
“Race one was our first proper run in the dry at Thruxton. We took an estimated guess with the set-up and unfortunately it was the wrong way. We had too much understeer through the slow corners and too much oversteer through the fast corners. We made some quite big changes for race two which I thought solved the issues, but again, it was the wrong way.”
A last-minute switch from slicks to wet-weather tyres was called for in the rain-affected weekend finale. The #123 machine’s bold set-up changes paid dividends, with the rediscovered pace enabling Lloyd to scythe his way through the field to take fifth at the final flag, collecting another strong points haul for the team and ending his returning BTCC weekend on a high note.
“We chose a new direction for race three and got our pace back,” added Lloyd. “The car was quick and I was pleased with how I raced. The BTCC is so competitive and I was a bit out of practice being in the middle of such a strong pack, so I was happy that I managed to avoid the incidents and bring the car home in one piece. Another lap or two and I think we could well have been on the podium.
“It was a tough weekend, but I think the set-up issues that we had were circuit specific. Thruxton is a bit of an anomaly. We did well considering we started the day in 22nd. To come through such a tight field to take fifth in those conditions was a really good result. I’d like to think that weekend would be the worst-case scenario moving forward. Given the speed we showed in pre-season testing and race three, I can only see us improving from there. We learned a lot and all that knowledge puts us in good stead.
“It’s great to be back on the BTCC grid. I’m still getting to grips with the car, but I enjoyed the racing. A big thanks to the team, and all of our sponsors for their support and hard work over the weekend.”
Heading towards the next rounds of the 2021 campaign, at Snetterton on 12/13 June, Lloyd sits 13th in the overall Drivers’ Standings and eighth in the Independents’, with the Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing Team leading the Independent Teams’ championship and third overall.