WEEKEND REVIEW: ADRIAN FLUX WITH POWER MAXED RACING
Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing endured a challenging weekend at Snetterton for the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship’s second event of the 2021 season.
For the first time in almost 20 months, the team was joined by guests such as former BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey among others, all of whom enjoyed a relaxed day of racing at the Norfolk circuit.
Saturday was warm and dry, setting the tone for a gloriously sunny weekend. Free Practice 1 would see both drivers trialling new car setups (which would ultimately not pay off), with the #123 car of Dan Lloyd finishing the session P6, and team-mate Jason Plato a few spots behind in P12.
Free Practice 2 would see both drivers spending some of the 45 minute session in the garage for setup changes, limiting their on-track running and resulting in Lloyd missing out on a place in the top ten by just 0.05 of a second, with Plato again slightly further back in P15.
Snetterton saw the return of the Top Ten Showdown format during Qualifying, meaning that the ten fastest drivers of the slightly shortened session would head out onto the track for a ten-minute shootout, with the final positions deciding where each driver would start the first race of the weekend.
Lloyd would battle hard during Qualifying, securing himself a position inside the Top Ten Showdown, eventually bagging P8 during the ten-minute knockout session. Jason Plato qualified with 57kg of ballast on board as a result of his third place in the Independent Driver standings, hampering his lap times significantly, and placing him P18 for the first race on Sunday.
With Sunday promising a day even hotter than the previous, fans couldn’t have hoped for a more perfect return to the UK’s most popular championship, with track temperatures reaching more than 40 degrees Celsius later in the day.
Race 1 would start well, with Lloyd quickly finding his way up to P6, where he would stay for the majority of the session, utilising the Goodyear soft compound tyre to the fullest.
The returning BTCC race winner was unable to make a late-race move on the Ford Focus of Ollie Jackson stick, costing him a place in the process, eventually taking the flag in P7, securing a decent points haul.
Slightly further back, Plato was fighting balance issues that had beset the car all weekend, making up ground at the start to sit in a comfortable P15, before dropping back and crossing the line P17.
For Race 2, Plato would be the one to use the soft tyre, and thanks to a lack of success ballast, would make up places quickly at the start, before the tyres dropped out of their ideal operating window. In the end, the double champion would cross the line P20, missing out on a second points finish for the day.
Lloyd, who drove well and made up ground during the early stages of the session – despite battling with ongoing balance issues – clashed with the Hyundai of Smiley costing him a considerable number of places, eventually finishing P12.
Narrowly missing out on the reverse grid draw, Lloyd would start Race 3 from P12 following a penalty applied to Smiley, with both him and team-mate Plato racing on the medium compound tyre. With temperatures high and suspense mounting, both drivers made a clean getaway to snatch places into the first corner. As the session went on, the changes made by Lloyd’s engineering team, headed by Team Manager Martin Broadhurst, became obvious, and the former-TCR Champion began setting lap times that would easily have seen him hold his own in the top five. Meanwhile, Plato battled hard against the rear-wheel-drive cars of Sutton and Oliphant, both of which are well suited to the high-speed Snetterton 300 layout.
In the end, Lloyd would cross the line P13, securing his third points finish of the day, whilst Plato would end his race in P18.
Jason Plato, Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing Car #11 – “It’s been a really tough weekend! We tried a setup on the car for Free Practice 1 that we thought was going to work, but unfortunately didn’t, which put us on the back foot for the rest of the weekend really. Add in the fact that I had quite a lot of weight on for Qualifying, and I was never going to be right up the road. Race 2 started off ok – it made sense from where we were to run the soft tyre, but it just didn’t play out how we wanted it to. Not a great weekend, but you have them in motorsport, especially when the grid is as competitive as it is this year, we’ll be back at Brands [Hatch] in a couple of weeks and be ready to get out there fighting.”
Dan Lloyd, Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing Car #123 – “Overall it was frustrating, as I know we had the potential to be quicker than we were! In myself, I feel like it was a massive step forward from Thruxton – I feel a lot more confident in the car, like I’m really on top of it now. We were struggling with balance issues all weekend, as I was finding the car really snappy, which isn’t what you want on such a long circuit. We tried a few things to help the issue and worked out how to use what we had to get the car really sorted. Obviously, my position in the last race could’ve been better, but I’ve come away feeling really pleased that we’ve worked out the issue this early in the season. I feel my performance was better than the opening round, and I’m feeling much more confident as we head into Brands Hatch. I just want to make sure I’m consistently scoring points and pushing towards that race win.”
Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing head to Brands Hatch (26/27 June) sitting P6 in the Teams’ Championship and P3 in the Independent Team Championship. Plato holds P8 in the Drivers’ Standings (P7 in Independents) and Lloyd is currently P6 in the Independents and P16 overall.