Daniel Lloyd has extended his lead at the top of the TCR UK Championship standings following a dominating performance during rounds 5 & 6 of the series at Brands Hatch last weekend (June 2/3).
Another flawless showing from the Yorkshireman on the 1.2mile Indy configuration, saw the 26-year-old secure maximum points once more, taking his third consecutive pole position and both race wins to maintain his 100% winning record in the tin-top series’ maiden season.
Lloyd saved the best until last during Saturday’s qualifying session, setting the fastest lap time with a 48.483 second lap on his final run in the WestCoast Racing VW Golf GTI TCR machine – three tenths ahead of his nearest rival.
“It was actually quite a difficult session;” explained Lloyd. “We had a few unexpected characteristics with the car which took us by surprise and we had to make a few tweaks during the session, so it wasn’t straightforward.
“We tweaked it perfectly though and got the tyre usage and the peak of the tyre spot on. I was really happy with my lap; again we just hooked it all together at the end. It was a mega result for the team and shows what a fantastic job they are doing.”
Starting from pole for the weekend’s opening race in the #23 VW Golf GTI, Lloyd got bogged down on the start line and initially dropped back into 2nd on the opening lap. Under increasing pressure from the Lewis Kent’s fast-charging Hyundai, the Huddersfield driver was hit from behind as the pair raced through Druids but a great defensive drive from Lloyd saw him maintain his 2nd place spot.
Chasing down race-leader Ollie Taylor as the laps unfolded, Lloyd planned his attack heading into Clearways and made his move a few laps later to steal into the lead and take his 5th win from 5 races at the chequered flag.
“I was annoyed with myself that I got caught out at the start and bogged down;” commented Lloyd. “Ollie Taylor managed to pass me, so fair play to him. Then I got quite a big hit at Druids and was so close to spinning round, luckily I held it.
“I just settled in after that and watched where Ollie was quick and where he wasn’t. I chose my spot two or three laps before and knew what I was going to do, so when he made a mistake I was ready and I just made sure it stuck.”
A dream end to the weekend’s proceedings in race 2 followed with Lloyd battling through from his reverse grid fifth row start in P9 to lead a WestCoast Racing 1-2 finish ahead of team-mate Jessica Bäckman. An outstanding drive from the Yorkshireman saw him expertly scythe his way through the field to take his 6thwin of the season and maintain his 100% race winning streak.
“That wasn’t easy by any means, but it was good fun. I had to push a lot harder at the start of that race and at the end I had all sorts of noises going on inside the car, every lap I was worried about a puncture but thankfully we managed to get away with it.
“The results and race wins that we are getting are brilliant but I don’t want people to think this is easy;” Lloyd added. “The championship is competitive, and we’re all working hard for this, it’s not just happening. Leading a race from the start is great and I’ve shown that I can do that but it was great to show my race craft as well and to come through the pack.”
Lloyd now has an incredible 99 point lead at top of the TCR UK Championship standings, with the WestCoast Racing team also extending the gap in the Teams standings to 283 points clear of its closest rivals.
“I’m not taking any of this for granted. We’re working harder than ever behind the scenes and the guys at WestCoast Racing are doing a mega job so I’m really pleased to get the results for them.
“I also have to say a big congratulations to my team-mate Jessica [Backman] on her first podium; she did a great job this weekend.”
The weekend’s results have helped to buoy Lloyd’s chances of continuing his on-track success. With a number of potential backers coming forward, Lloyd is optimistic that he will be able to defend his championship lead when the TCR reconvenes at Castle Combe on July 14/15.
“We’ve got a lot going on in the background to keep me going for the rest of the year;” Lloyd concluded. “The online support we’ve had across social media has been brilliant and a massive boost to our efforts. Hopefully we have some new sponsors that may be coming on board, so it really means a lot.”
Full race results and timings from each session can be found online at: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/182230
All of the TCR UK Championship races can also be viewed on the official Championship YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcXKwJeru6Igi0Sohld6bNg