Daniel Lloyd achieved his goal of securing a top-three finish in the Independents’ Trophy after battling his way to a brace of top-ten results in the final meeting of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch.
Huddersfield racer Daniel went into the final meeting of the year eager to try and overhaul Andrew Watson in the Independents’ standings, whilst also hoping for three strong overall results at the home circuit for Team HARD – the team running his Cupra Leon this season.
Two productive practice sessions around the iconic Grand Prix layout saw Daniel lap within half a second of the pace, leaving confidence high going into qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
Being blocked on his push lap however meant Daniel was unable to maximise his new tyre run, and he would end up qualifying back in 18th place despite his sector times suggesting a top-ten starting slot had been there for the taking.
Fighting hard in the midfield in the early stages of the opening race, Daniel was able to battle his way forward into the top 15 to score a championship point before bolting on the quicker soft compound tyre for race two.
Showing top ten pace throughout, Daniel battled his way through to tenth place in fine style, just missing out on being drawn on pole for the final race of the weekend.
Although he would lose a spot on lap one, Daniel was soon on a charge once again and raced his way through to take seventh spot overall and second amongst the Independents.
That would prove to be crucial as the result allowed Daniel to overhaul Watson in the Independents’ standings to secure third place, with his points scored leaving him 13th overall.
“Qualifying was really disappointing because I got blocked on my fast lap and ended up back in 18th place,” he said. “Our quick lap ended up being on used tyres, and I’m sure a new tyre run would have put us in the top ten.
“We were able to gradually work our way forward in races one and two to get into a position where the reverse grid came into play and it was a shame that we just missed out as I think the pace was in the car to stay towards the front if we’d been drawn there.
“However, to come away from the finale with two top-ten finishes and third in the Independents’ standings is a good finish and further indication of the progress we’ve made during the season.
“There is no doubt it’s been a tough year but the potential has been clear to see. Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of bad luck just when we were set to realise that potential, such as when we led at Donington Park and when we were on for potential podiums at Knockhill and Silverstone.
“I don’t think all the of the hard work that has gone in has been reflected in the results on track and we haven’t really been able to reap the rewards, but we know that it hasn’t been through any fault of our own and largely down to things outside our control.
“Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible to be out there without the back of my partners, and I have thank each and every one of them for their support this season. With my partners track day and ball still to come, I look forward to celebrating the season with them in the coming weeks.”