Huddersfield’s Daniel Lloyd endured three tough races during rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham this weekend, after securing a third row start in qualifying (August 11/12).
The Yorkshireman headed into the weekend in fine form and a looked set to improve on his double top ten score at Snetterton last time out with a superb P5 spot during Saturday’s afternoon qualifying session. Sadly, contact in all three races, put paid to Lloyd’s front-running potential and the 26-year-old came away from the weekend empty-handed.
Lloyd made a strong start off the line Sunday’s opening race before a heavy shunt from behind as the pack charged off the banking into the first corner pitched the Honda Civic Type R into a spin. Managing to avoid the worst of the ensuing chaos, Lloyd was forced to pit for repairs before re-joining at the back of the grid – eventually ending the race in P21.
Further contact on the opening lap of race 2, forced Lloyd off track once more, dropping him down the order. A bold fight back from the 26-year-old in the later laps saw him pilot the #26 BTC Norlin Racing machine up into 16th, which he held to the flag, regrettably ending the race just outside the points-scoring zone.
Race 3 was a frenetic affair, with a huge incident at the first hairpin causing carnage on the opening lap. Negotiating his way through the melee, Lloyd moved up to 12th in the opening stages before disaster struck on the eighth tour of the circuit. After racing side by side with Cook as the duo raced through the chicane, the #23 Civic took a heavy side-on impact– breaking the rear suspension and ending Lloyd’s race on the spot.
“That was a tough day at the office!” commented Lloyd. “The car was really quick all weekend. Getting turned around in race 1 just tipped the whole weekend on its head really.
“Looking at where we qualified, next to my team-mate Chris [Smiley] on the grid, it could have been a completely different day. We had the pace in the car again; we just didn’t get the chance to show it. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time in all three races. Sometimes you can get hit and come through to fight and live another day, but we just didn’t get the breaks this weekend.”
In-spite of the frustrating weekend on a personal level, Lloyd’s team-mate Chris Smiley celebrated his maiden BTCC win in the final contest of the day – securing a 2nd outright win of the season for the BTC Norlin Racing Team.
“Although I had a tough day, it was a mega day for the team getting a win in race 3 and huge congrats to my team-mate Chris to get his first ever BTCC win;” added Lloyd. “It was really well-deserved. For the team to get two race wins from 3 rounds as such a small independent team is a mega result and I couldn’t be happier for them all.”
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now has a short two-week turnaround before heading to Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife for the series’ annual visit to Scotland on August 25/26.