Lloyd launches to emotional home win
Dan Lloyd took a hugely popular and emotional victory in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Croft as the home hero produced a fantastic drive during Round 13 of the campaign.
From third on the grid, Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com man Lloyd launched past Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Dan Rowbottom into Clervaux for the first time.
He nipped by pole-sitter Colin Turkington before the end of the first lap and then fended off the Team BMW star for the remainder of the race to take a second career BTCC triumph.
The fairytale BTCC story was completed with Turkington following Lloyd home, as the same two drivers were taken to the medical centre following an accident at Oulton Park just two weeks ago.
Lloyd was hospitalised while his severely damaged car was being repaired by his EXCELR8 Motorsport squad, whilst West Surrey Racing had to rebuild Turkington’s 2019 title winning BMW in order for him to take part this weekend.
Incredibly, both Lloyd and Turkington proved to be the cream of the crop at Croft in the exciting opener, as the former took his first BTCC win in four years.
“I’m an emotional wreck, I really am,” said Lloyd. “The last two weeks have been hell and yesterday was good enough to come back and put it third on the grid. I’ve only had one win in the BTCC and that was here four years ago, to come back and do it after the team has completely rebuilt the car is just unbelievable.
“I’m lost for words, I just want to say a thank you to everyone for all the support. The last two weeks, not just physically, I’ve been through a lot, but the support kept me going. I came into this weekend thinking I’m going to give it my all, and that first lap was a representation of that.
“It was really hard work and a massive thanks to everyone for the support. I went over the line and I think it took half a second to burst out crying, I punched the air so hard I actually hurt my back. The car was hard work, we really didn’t have that ultimate pace especially in the last sector where Colin [Turkington] could have had a go so I just had t be really careful not to overdo it in the hairpin. I’m just so, so pleased!”
Despite relinquishing the lead to Lloyd, four-time champion Turkington remained upbeat about his own encouraging result.
“It’s a great comeback from a massive setback at Oulton Park for us both,” commented Turkington. “In this game, it’s just about persevering, not giving up, realising that there will be bumps in the road, but we can come back from big setbacks like that.
“Obviously P1 would’ve been better, but finishing P2, we’ve seen so many times this year just on lap one we’re vulnerable with front tyre temperatures. Dan [Lloyd] was on the case straight away and I had no answer for the pace the first two laps, once the car switches on, we’re quick, but it’s too late by then.
“I thought I had him, coming into the complex around the outside, I had a bit of an overlap but then the bit of road I was going for started to disappear so I thought, it’s race one, let’s take P2 and hopefully I can get him in the next one.”
Rowbottom completed the podium positions as he held off EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com’s Tom Ingram for the full duration, who himself had Jake Hill (ROKiT MB Motorsport), Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK), Rory Butcher (Toyota GAZOO Racing UK) and Aiden Moffat immediately behind him – the latter taking Independents’ honours for Laser Tools Racing.
“We’ve had a really tough start to the year, so I think everyone needed a bit of a gee up,” said Rowbottom after scoring his first podium of the season. “The problem is, when you get in a train and you’ve got someone as experienced as Tom [Ingram] behind you, you can’t really leave much of a door. He did have a nibble one lap so that kind of put me on the back foot, I was a bit of a passenger in the train but all credit to these two ahead, what they’ve came through from Oulton Park, so it’s great isn’t it to see the day start like that.”
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s George Gamble and the third Hyundai of Tom Chilton rounded out the top ten.
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Croft
1. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com 18 laps
2. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.377s
3. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.779s
4. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.167s
5. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +2.209s
6. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +2.734s
7. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +3.447s
8. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +3.747s
9. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +4.345s
10. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +5.394s
11. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +5.669s
12. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +6.362s
13. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +6.774s
14. James GORNALL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +7.395s
15. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +7.899s
16. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +8.949s
17. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +10.105s
18. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +10.734s
19. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +11.008s
20. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +11.181s
21. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +13.436s
22. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +14.265s
23. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +15.687s
24. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +1 lap
25. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +6 laps
26. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +7 laps
27. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +17 laps
28. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +17 laps