Daniel Lloyd claimed his maiden TCR Europe race win in dramatic style at the weekend, taking overall honours for the Brutal Fish Racing squad in the opening contest on the Motorsport Arena, in Oschersleben (August 3-4).
Huddersfield-based Lloyd arrived in Germany for the fifth meeting of the series in excellent form straight off the back his maiden TCR Europe podium at the Red Bull Ring in Austria just three weeks earlier.
The 27-year-old made an early impact on proceedings, topping the timing screens in FP2 and setting the third fastest lap in FP1 in the JAS Motorsport-supported Honda. An outstanding combined lap time in qualifying secured a front-row start for race 1, netting Lloyd his highest-placed position of the season in P2.
A lightning start in Saturday’s race saw him steal past Andreas Bäckman to take the lead by the first corner. With the fast-charging Hyundai breathing down his neck for the entire time, Lloyd put up a commanding defensive drive under unrelenting pressure. With just two laps remaining, however, the #123 Honda Civic slid wide, opening up the opportunity for the Swede to take back the race lead, followed by Nelson Panciatici which dropped the Civic Type R down to 3rd.
A dramatic turn in events post-race, however, saw the reigning TCR UK Champion awarded the race win after Bäckman was excluded from the race for a technical infringement, with Panciatici also handed a time penalty for contact with another racer on the opening lap.
The win marked a significant maiden victory for the Slovak-based Brutal Fish Racing in only its second year of competing.
“We got off to a good start in practice and got the job done in qualifying to take P2 against the Hyundai. They were extremely quick all weekend, so we were really pleased to be up at the front;” commented Lloyd.
“My focus in race 1 was to get a good start off the line. I managed to get into the race lead straight away. The Hyundai was so fast though I was forced to push 110% for the whole race and my tyres just went off in the last three laps. I had a small slide at the hairpin and it was just enough for Andreas to get underneath me. He took back the lead and brought Nelson through with him.
“Although I finished third on the track, I feel like we deserved the win. We worked hard for it, and racing regulations are these for us all. It’s not the dream way to win my first TCR Europe race, but a win is a win!”
Starting from 9th for race two, Lloyd made a promising start in Sunday’s contest. Moving up to eighth on the fourth tour of the circuit, the Honda’s progress was sadly brought to an abrupt end on lap 7 with Lloyd forced into early retirement with a suspected turbo failure.
“I got a decent start off the line;” explained the ABRACS and Mend-A-Hose-backed racer. “I managed to move up a place in the early laps, and then the turbo just went so it was game over. It was a shame, but these things happen in motorsport. It didn’t dampen what was such a fantastic result for us all in race one.
“I’m over the moon for myself, but even more so for the team;” added the Yorkshireman. “They’ve only been racing for two years so to get a win in TCR Europe so early is a huge achievement for them.
“I have to say a massive thanks to Martin Ryba for giving me the opportunity to join the squad, and I’m just so pleased to have been able to repay him and the whole team’s hard work with the win. It means a lot.”
The TCR Europe series heads to Spain next, for rounds 11 and 12 on the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya on September 21-22.