|Daniel Lloyd has extended his lead at the top of the TCR Europe Championship standings after a battling performance at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit which saw the Yorkshireman claim his third podium of the 2020 season (September 26-27).|
The Brutal Fish Racing Team driver headed to Monza with the hope of retaining the top spot in the standings, with his Honda Civic Type R being the less-favourable machine on the iconic Italian track.
Despite the disadvantages faced, a superb qualifying performance netted Lloyd a front-row start for the opening race, with the second-fastest lap-time of 1m57.203s, just three-hundredths off pole position.
Fast out of the box, Lloyd stole the race lead from Moroccan Bennani on the opening lap but was unable to hold-off Briche’s charge on the super-fast straights. With championship points in the balance, Lloyd’s strategy of playing the long game saw him cross the line in P2, securing his third podium visit from the three meetings so far this season.
Another strong start in race two saw Lloyd move up into 6th place by the third tour of the circuit. Unfortunately, after being hit during a brutal battle on the opening lap, the #123 Civic picked up damage to the wheel, with the resulting in a puncture and bringing the ABRACS-backed driver’s race to an early end.
The weekend’s results have extended Lloyd’s lead at the top of the TCR Europe Championship standings to 32 points ahead of the fourth race meeting of the season at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya on October 10-11.
“I’m really happy with how the weekend went;” commented Lloyd. “We expected to have a tough time at Monza so to come away with another podium and having extended our championship lead is mega.
“The Audi definitely had the legs on us qualifying, so I was really pleased to get as close to them as we did. That was a great result. We had a lot of issues on Friday and Saturday. We changed the car in a huge way so fair play to the team for doing such a good job with the setup.”
“I managed to get a good start in race 1 and move into the lead, but the Peugeot was too fast on the long straights to hold off. I picked up a vibration about halfway through the race, so with the championship at stake I backed off and concentrated on pacing myself and keeping 2nd place.”
“Everything we do is about the championship now and it makes a big difference to have had a full season behind me and know that I’m racing for the full year. Perfect job by the team – the car was awesome.”
“Race two was crazy! Fights were going off left, right, and centre. Everyone was being really aggressive and Briché hit my alloy in the first lap chaos. I thought that I had managed to escape the worst of it, but then after getting up to 6th, I had to retire with a puncture resulting from the earlier contact.
“It was gutting when we were running so well. If I would have finished the race, I’d have a ridiculous lead now, but 32 points is still a great place to be. It was an unfortunate end to the weekend, but I was probably due a bit of bad luck after such a good run.
“The weekend has given us a lot of confidence going to Barcelona, although we will be carrying the 60kg of ballast again.”
|Full results and championship standings can be found at:europe.tcr-series.com|