Daniel Lloyd battles to triple Silverstone score
Daniel Lloyd rebounded from a challenging qualifying session at Silverstone to secure a hat-trick of points scoring finishes from the penultimate weekend of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season (23/24 September).
The Huddersfield-based racer went into the event looking to bounce back from a difficult end to the previous event at Donington Park (26/27 August), where technical issues on the final lap of race three left him without a fairytale race win.
Lloyd enjoyed two productive free practice sessions but a tricky qualifying session would see him down in 21st place for race one, his fastest lap was four-tenths off the benchmark time.
Race day dawned with drivers facing a tough decision of which tyres to run as rain started to fall prior to race one, with Lloyd amongst those to head out on slicks for the start. However, as cars left the grid for the green flag lap, the rain intensified and he elected to dive into the pits to switch to wets rather than take up his slot on the grid.
It proved to be the correct call as he charged up the order in his Team HARD-run Cupra Leon, and within three laps, had worked his way into the top ten with a number of bold overtakes.
Climbing as high as seventh, Lloyd would be shuffled back down to P10 in the closing stages as the circuit dried and those on slick tyres were able to fight their way forwards.
The remaining two races would run in dry conditions, with Lloyd able to build on his strong pace in race two as he climbed up into the top six. During a battle at Becketts, he dropped a handful of places after a mid-race safety car but would still score a solid ninth place finish.
The reverse grid draw saw Lloyd start Race Three from the second row of the grid but a strong opening lap saw him power the Cupra up into second just before the safety car was deployed to recover a car from the side of the circuit.
Unfortunately for Lloyd, he was unable to maintain his front-running position but he was able to battle his way to the finish to take eleventh, claiming his third points finish of the weekend.
“We went the wrong way a bit with the set-up for qualifying, which meant we were lower down the grid than I hoped,” said Lloyd. “Overnight, we made a lot of changes to the car and they made a big difference, so it was just a shame we didn’t make them a bit earlier!
“Heading to the grid for race one, it was definitely the right decision to have slicks fitted, but then it all changed on the green flag lap and we made the late call to switch onto wets. The team did a great job to turn the car round quickly and get back out as the others started, and we were able to rocket up the order in the early laps.
“Getting up to P7 was great before the slick-shod cars recovered late on, but a top ten was still a good start, and in race two, the Cupra was absolutely mega. At one stage before the safety car, we were the quickest car on track and it was just a shame that we suffered some contact that cost us places.
“Considering where we were at the end of Saturday, I’m really pleased with the results we picked up across the three races.”
The 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship concludes in less than two weeks’ time as Rounds 28, 29 & 30 play out around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on the 7/8 October.