Huddersfield’s Daniel Lloyd claimed his third podium from the last four Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race starts over the weekend with an impressive performance at Donington Park’s historic national circuit (9-10 October).
Heading into the penultimate meeting of the 2021 season off the back of his most successful BTCC weekend to date at Silverstone, the Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing driver managed to turn around what was a challenging start to hustle his way through to a front-row grid position in qualifying followed up with a second-placed podium and two further top-seven finishes.
Saturday’s free practice sessions proved a tricky affair, with the #123 crew struggling to find the perfect set-up in the Vauxhall Astra. Major changes between sessions were called for, with Lloyd only able to achieve P18 in FP1 and fare slightly better in P12 in FP2 – albeit still well-off his ideal pace.
Further last-minute tweaks made ahead of qualifying paid dividends for the squad, with the Lloyd finally able to show the true pace of the Astra. Claiming P8 in the initial session to secure his spot in the ‘top ten showdown’, the Yorkshireman went on to set a blistering flying lap time of 1:09.027 to claim his highest-placed qualifying position of the season with a front-row start in P2 – followed closely by his team-mate Plato in P3 resulting in a best-ever qualifying result for the Power Maxed Racing outfit.
With a potential maiden season victory on the cards, Lloyd was finally able to show his true race pace as he challenged multiple BTCC-champion Shedden for the lead while holding off protagonist Butcher. The 29-year-old held his own against the two Scotsmen to cross the line in P2 – his third podium visit from the last four races.
Carrying 66kgs of success ballast on board for the first time, Lloyd had to think on his feet in race 2. After getting slightly bogged down on the start line, he recovered well from challenges from the lighter cars and ran door-to-door with the main title contenders – eventually bringing the #123 Astra home in a commendable 5th.
The reverse grid draw sadly worked against the squad in race 3, with Lloyd dropping back to a P7 start. Despite picking up a 5-second penalty for starting outsider of his grid box and whilst still contending with 39kg on-board, Lloyd managed to maintain position, even challenging for a higher position in the closing laps, to end his day with another solid haul of points in P7 – setting the fastest front-wheel-drive lap of the race.
Daniel Lloyd #123:
“The weekend was a tale of two halves really! We had such a tough start down in P18 with a lot of issues with the car in FP1. We were still wrestling with major issues again in FP2 and were four-tenths off Jason [Plato] who was in P1. We changed a lot of stuff to the set-up for qualifying and really turned the day around.
“Managing to get into the top ten shootout and then onto the front-row was a massive achievement from where we started the day. We’ve just been chipping away at it and driving the car to its full potential. I was over the moon with a front row start in P2 and we’re on top of the car now, which feels great.
“Qualifying obviously put us in good stead for the races, and I was going for the win in race one. The tyres just dropped off too much after the safety car and Gordon had the pace on us in the second half.
“Race 2 was the first time that I’d ever driven with 66kg in the car so to hold on to P5 was a mega result. I learnt a lot. To follow that up with a solid finish in P7 for race 3 with 39kg on board was a great result for the team after how hard they’ve all worked.
“It’s amazing how quickly you get used to the podium! We’re on a roll now and enjoying a great run. We’ve had more podiums in the past three weeks than I have in ten years in the BTCC, so I’m mega happy with that.
“I’d like to say a massive thanks to the team for all of their hard work and also a give a big shout out to my Daniel Lloyd Racing Club members and guests from Mend-A-Hose who were there to support me this weekend.
Lloyd and Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing Team now have a short two-week break before the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season finale at the iconic Brands Hatch GP Circuit on 23-24 October.