The Yorkshireman showed impressive pace once again throughout the weekend, but a combination of tricky racing conditions and bad luck left the 26-year-old ruing what might have been following a frenetic weekend of racing in Scotland.
Fine weather conditions on Saturday saw the times tumble during the afternoon’s 30 minute qualifying session. With over half of the grid besting the prevailing track record; Lloyd’s fastest lap could only muster a P14 spot on the race 1 grid in-spite of setting a time just 0.460 seconds off pole position.
“It was a really tough qualifying session;” commented Lloyd. “With 31 cars on a track that’s only a 50 second lap, it’s almost impossible to get a clean run. The top 26 cars were all within a second of each other, so it shows just how hard it is there and how close the times were.”
Sunday’s opening race brought the onslaught of a torrential downpour with it, resulting in poor visibility and very challenging racing conditions. With 31 cars lined up on the 1.27mile circuit, overtaking was near impossible as the racers all jostled for position.
A strong start by Lloyd was regrettably short-lived after he clipped the kerb on the pack’s fifth tour of the circuit – sending his #26 Honda Civic Type R scooting across the rain-soaked infield. Saving the Honda from any major damage, Lloyd managed to get back on track albeit joining at the back of the grid.
Focused on regaining as much ground as possible, the 26-year-old managed not only to catch the field – setting the fastest lap on track at the time – but also making up 6 places to take 25th at the flag.
“Visibility was really bad in race 1 and it made for really tricky conditions out on track;” explained Lloyd. “Unfortunately I made a mistake touching the kerb in the wet and it just threw me off. It was a real shame as we had the pace.”
Making further progress in an interrupted race two, Lloyd continued to battle his way up through the order and had already claimed 16th by the mid-way point of the contest. Sadly, the BTC Norlin man’s excellent recovery drive and progress was halted when the race red-flagged on lap 20.
“I think we could have easily broken into the top ten in race two. We were making up ground in the race and went from 25th to 16th before the red-flag came out. It was frustrating because we could have made the reverse grid draw for race 3 and then, who knows!”
A ride height infringement for race two’s top two finishers resulted in an amended result and race 3 grid, with Lloyd automatically promoted into 14th.
After making a strong start off the line, Lloyd immediately picked up the pace before an extended safety car appearance on lap 3. Taking advantage at the restart, he scythed his way up into the top ten as the laps unfolded – running as high as 9th in the later stages before eventually crossing the line in 10th and collecting a solid haul of points for the BTC Norlin Racing Team’s championship campaign.
“We had another decent race 3;” added Lloyd. “Getting into the top ten and bagging some more points. We definitely had the pace to have finished higher but I got caught up in the traffic. Tenth was a solid result from where we started though. I’m just a little disappointed as I think that we could have come away with more.”
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now has a short three week break before heading to the ‘home of British Motor Racing’ for the penultimate round of the season on September 15/16.