| Daniel Lloyd’s hopes of claiming the TCR Europe title this season were dealt a further blow last weekend with on-track incidents on the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps impacting on the Yorkshireman’s championship challenge (22-24 October).|
Heading into the penultimate meeting of the year with a 25-point deficit to the championship lead, Lloyd was determined to put his recent run of bad luck behind him to get his title fight back on track. Regrettably, despite a strong start in the weekend’s opening contest, race-ending contact in the finale resulted in a non-points score for the ABRACS-backed racer which leaves the series honours a little further out of reach with just two rounds remaining.
The weekend started well for Lloyd, who set the fastest time in dry in free practice one. After initially struggling to unlock the ideal wet set-up in FP2, he delivered a competitive lap time in qualifying to secure a third-row start in P5 for the opening race.
With the notoriously unpredictable weather conditions at the Belgian circuit making for tricky track conditions, The Brutal Fish Racing Team opted for a mix of wets and slick tyres for race 1. Unfortunately, as the laps unfolded and the track dried out, this proved to be the wrong choice, and Lloyd dropped back to take P8 at the flag.
A strong start to race 2 saw the #123 Honda Civic Type R running as high as fourth in the opening laps before contact with Sapag’s Hyundai as the pair battled for a podium spot brought Lloyd’s weekend to an abrupt end with race-ending suspension damage.
“A really disappointing weekend;” commented Lloyd. “It started off well, being fastest in the dry in the first practice session. We struggled a bit in the wet in FP2 but brought it together in qualifying to snatch 5th. That was ideal. With mixed conditions on the drying circuit, we, unfortunately, went with the wrong tyre choice for race 1 and ended up P8. We went slicks on the front and wets on the rear, where others went full wets and that paid off.
“We made the right decision in race 2 and very quickly moved up the pack to P4. The car in front was hanging on for dear life. He slowed the car more than expected mid-corner and I ended up tapping him unintentionally which sent him sideways a little bit. Unfortunately, as he caught it he flipped back on, hit my wheel and snapped my suspension resulting in a DNF. I’m partly to blame for the tap, but the repercussions were huge. It was just really unlucky.
“I would have had a good chance of challenging for the win and still be in the running for the title. Instead, I’m fifth and gutted. I feel like things have conspired against us in the last couple of rounds. We just need to go to the last meeting in Spain do as well as we can and try to salvage a strong result to end the season.”
Lloyd now sits fifth in the championship standings and 48-points off the current leader with a mathematical shot at the title ahead of the 2020 TCR Europe season finale at Spain’s Jarama Race Circuit in Madrid on 6-7 November.
|Full results and championship standings can be found at:europe.tcr-series.com|