Seasons best for Daniel Lloyd at Oulton Park
Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils driver Daniel Lloyd scored the best result of his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season so far as the 2023 campaign reached the half-way stage at Oulton Park.
The Huddersfield-based racer was returning to the scene of his significant accident last season seeking to push into the top ten at the wheel of his Team HARD Cupra Leon.
In qualifying, Lloyd secured the 15th best time, which left him well-placed to fight for points come race day.
Running the soft tyre in the opening bout, Lloyd would work his way forwards to the fringes of the top ten and fought hard to secure an eleventh-place finish.
Once again on the soft tyre for race two, the 31-year-old made a demon start to jump up into eighth place and displayed impressive pace throughout, moving up into seventh when he nipped ahead of Ricky Collard’s Toyota on lap 13.
However, the strong pace of the BMW of Adam Morgan saw him overhaul Lloyd before the finish, and he took the flag in eighth for his first top ten result of the campaign.
A technical issue in race three forced Lloyd to dive into the pits. As the team worked to replace the part and the race got underway, the decision was taken to gamble on also changing onto wet tyres as light rain started to fall – with heavier rain having been predicted to hit the circuit in time for the race.
However, the weather held through to the finish, and Lloyd was unable to make any forward progress as he finished up in 23rd place.
At the half-way stage of the season, the Team HARD driver sits 17th in the overall standings and third in the Independents’ Trophy.
“We didn’t manage to piece the lap together in qualifying but when race one came around, I feel we did a really good job to make up four places and get into 11th considering how hard it is to pass around Oulton Park,” said Lloyd.
“We worked to make changes for race two and had a great run up into the top seven before losing a place to Morgan, which meant we just missed the reverse grid. Despite that, I felt confident for race three but on the way to the grid we had a technical issue.
“We had no option but to pit to fix it so having dropped half a lap, we rolled the dice and bolted on wets considering it was starting to spit with rain. The heavier rain never came so the gamble didn’t pay off, but we had nothing to lose by doing it and had the weather changed, we’d have been ending the weekend as heroes! In hindsight, it might be a good thing we didn’t get pole as I’d have been gutted to have the problem in that situation.
“The pace was really good all through race day and it was only down to that one issue in the final race that we haven’t come away with top ten finishes and three solid points results.
“All in all, despite race three, we can go away from the weekend with a lot of positives to take into the summer break.”