Huddersfield’s Daniel Lloyd added to his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship points tally this weekend, with a spirited performance for the MG Racing RCIB Insurance squad on Cheshire’s Oulton Park circuit (May 6/7).
The weekend started well with Lloyd breaking into the top six during Saturday’s second free practice session in the wet, unfortunately an ongoing lack of pace dampened the 25-year-old’s prospects and the MG-backed driver battled back hard to take a best placed 12th spot during Sundays final race.
Competition on the capacity 32-car grid was as fierce as ever, with the top 20 cars all within 1 second of pole on the 2.26 mile circuit. With the MG Motor MG6 still struggling to get the best out of the tyre in qualifying, Lloyd unfortunately found himself down in P26.
“We’re still struggling with pace at the moment and that’s really hurting our qualifying performance;” said Lloyd. “We had a great result in the wet in free practice 2 but struggled again in the dry.
“With the grid as close as it is this season, any issues in qualifying can kill your whole weekend. It’s so hard to make up places. The BTCC is so competitive, it’s almost like a one make series with the times and a good qualifying result is vital.”
On a circuit that is notoriously difficult to overtake on, the Yorkshireman battled his way through to P20 in the opening race and P22 in race two before an outstanding drive in race three finally delivered the goods deserving of Lloyd’s efforts. Starting on the softer tyre compound, a strong start saw the #23 MG Motor MG6 move up into the points during the opening laps, eventually crossing the line in 12th place.
“We made improvements to the car throughout the day and coupled with the soft tyre in race three they seemed to make a difference;” added Lloyd. “We had a good start and enjoyed the racing, managing to get up to 12th – the car certainly felt a lot better. We’re still on a learning curve though so it is a struggle. We need to find the sweet spot on the car, but the team are doing everything they can to solve the problem.
“It was great to have so many sponsors there with us for the weekend how enjoyed the racing and the fantastic atmosphere, and I’m looking forward to getting back to my home circuit, Croft in a few weeks’ time.”
Lloyd and the MG Motor RCIB Insurance Team now have a short three week break before the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship arrives at Croft circuit in North Yorkshire for rounds 13, 14 and 15 on June 10/11.