Daniel Lloyd opened his TCR International point scoring account at the weekend, with a fine debut performance in the #17 Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing SEAT Leon on the world-renowned Salzburgring circuit (June 10/11.)
After topping the time sheets and claiming P3 during Friday’s two practise sessions, Lloyd’s impressive pace was unfortunately hampered in qualifying and race pace as the Lukoil Craft-Bamboo squad grappled with a lack of straight line speed on the 4.2km power circuit.
“The weekend went really well;” said Lloyd. “I gelled really well with the team and the car and we had a mega start on Friday. Unfortunately the team were expecting to struggle here with the balance of performance issues they have at the moment, but overall I think we had a good result.”
Despite his impressive pace securing P2 in Saturday’s first qualifying session, on-track slipstream strategy by the faster competitors in Q2 ended Lloyd’s strong run and the combined qualifying results dropped him to P11 – just missing out on a top ten spot that would have netted the Yorkshireman a reverse grid pole position in race 2.
A strong start in Sunday’s opening race saw Lloyd break into the top ten, trading places with several competitors during the opening laps. Unfortunately two safety car appearances – one on the final lap – halted the 25-year-old’s progress and he ended the race in P11.
“I had a decent start in race one considering it was my first time in the car and I was doing ok until the safety car came out;” added Lloyd. “Obviously, the team was struggling with straight-line speed, so when the cars were bunched up I lost a few positions towards the end on the restart but was happy to bring the car home in once piece.”
The start of race 2 was a fraught affair with Lloyd tangled up on the opening lap and dropping back down to 13th. An excellent fight-back saw him work his way up through the field – storming into the points-scoring zone before another safety car incident – eventually bringing the battle-scarred #17 SEAT Leon across the line in P7.
“We made a few changes to the car in race two, which helped. I got another decent start but got mixed up with a few cars in the beginning but then raced well for the rest of it and even made up some positions due to the safety car;” Lloyd continued. “I came home in 7th, which was a good result given how much we were struggling.”
“I have to say a big thanks to the team, it was great to be working with Craft-Bamboo team again and I have a great couple of team-mates with Pepe [Oriola] and James [Nash].
“Although we didn’t necessarily get the results we wanted it was nice to be able to show how my pace, especially on a circuit that’s not suited to the car. I’m really looking forward to getting back out again this weekend and hopefully we can show our true pace at Hungaroring which is far more technical circuit.”
Lloyd is back out on track with the Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing team again this coming weekend as the TCR International Series heads to Hungary for rounds 12 and 13 at the Hungaroring GP circuit in Budapest on June 17/18.