DOUBLE PODIUM DELIGHT FOR LLOYD AT SILVERSTONE
Huddersfield’s Dan Lloyd celebrated a welcome return to the rostrum with a superb double podium during a frenetic Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship weekend at Silverstone (25/26 September).
The stars aligned for the 29-year-old during the eighth meeting of the season with a strong performance throughout all sessions justly rewarded with some of his best BTCC results to date – claiming third, 11th and second respectively in each of Sunday’s races at the Home of British Motor Racing.
Showing promising and consistent pace across both of Saturday’s practice sessions, the Yorkshireman was able to translate that into a strong showing in qualifying. After targeting a place in the top ten showdown with an impressive P7 spot in the opening session, he set an even faster lap time in the ten-minute pole position shootout to lock down fifth on the grid for Sunday’s first race.
A lightning start off the line by Lloyd fired the #123 Vauxhall Astra past two rivals on the opening lap and he immediately set his sights on the race leaders. Closing the gap to Tom Ingram in second spot, he kept the pressure on the Hyundai for the entire 22 laps, bringing the Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing machine across the line to claim his first podium of the season.
Race two regrettably saw Lloyd drop back down the order as he struggled with engine issues during the safety car-interrupted contest, and he was forced to nurse the Astra in the mid-pack, while still managing to collect yet more points with an 11th-place finish.
Fortunes changed once again as the day came to a close, with Lloyd being pitched into pole position for the start of race three by virtue of the reverse grid draw. A sterling drive followed as he held off BTCC title contender Jake Hill for an incredible 11 tours of the circuit. After finally succumbing to the #24 Ford, Lloyd managed to maintain pressure on the Kent racer to the chequered flag and came close to reclaiming the lead in the closing laps before signing off his most successful BTCC weekend to date with a second-place finish at the final flag.
“Starting fifth for the first race was the best opportunity I’d had all season,” said Lloyd. “I had in my head that I wanted to get stuck in and that’s what I did. I managed to get up to third on the first lap. We were struggling with the car a bit in the second half of the race, but I managed to hold third.
“We then got bogged down on the start line in race two which made things tricky. It wasn’t ideal, but we were looking ok until the engine temperature started rising and then we just kept dropping back. When you’re in the middle of the pack in the dirty air it’s hard to keep the temperature down and we seem to be suffering from that, unfortunately.”
“I hit a bit of luck with the reverse grid pitting me on pole for the last race. It was lucky, but we’ve had our fair share of bad luck this season, so I was happy to take it! I felt confident going into the race. I had a bit of a flashback to Croft where I won from the reverse grid, and I just wanted to look forward. I couldn’t shake off Jake Hill, but I managed to hold off a championship contender for 11 laps. I didn’t fight too much when he made his move for the lead as I didn’t want to risk the chance of another podium. But I stayed with him and even had another little sniff at the lead when he made a mistake on lap 18. He definitely had the pace, but we kept the pressure on. Considering how we’ve struggled this season we matched one of the title contenders out on track and showed our capabilities.
“It was nice to be able to race up front again. It’s a different kind of racing, far more enjoyable.
“It was mega to be able to celebrate with our guests, too. I have to say a big thanks to the team. It’s been a tough few months, but the guys have kept working really hard to keep us all going, so it’s brilliant to be able to repay some of that graft with some nice shiny silverware! I’m hoping that we can carry this momentum forward to Donington Park in a couple of weeks.”
Lloyd and Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing now have a short break before heading to Donington Park for the penultimate meeting of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season on 9/10 October.