Points and potential for Daniel Lloyd in BTCC opener
Daniel Lloyd enjoyed a successful start to his 2022 British Touring Car Championship campaign at Donington Park, with three solid finishes allowing him to end the opening weekend well placed inside the top ten in the standings.
The Huddersfield-racer headed into the weekend hoping to make an impression at the wheel of his EXCELR8 Motorsport-run Hyundai i30 Fastback N on what was the first meeting for the BTCC’s new hybrid era.
Daniel showed strong pace throughout the two free practice sessions on Saturday morning to run well inside the top ten, leaving confidence high going into qualifying – where all drivers had full access to their additional 15 seconds per lap of hybrid power for the only time this year.
Unfortunately however, a damper issue on the #123 entry would hamper his chances and although Daniel was able to improve his lap time from earlier in the day, he would end up back in twelfth place on the grid.
A tricky opening race saw Daniel embroiled in the midfield battles before he took the flag in eleventh spot, and he then improved on that result in race two to work his way up into eighth place by the time the chequered flag dropped.
With the top nine being reversed on the grid for race three, Daniel lined up on the front row of the grid where he was interviewed live on ITV4 before the lights went out, offering an additional boost in exposure to partners including 247 Blinds, ABRACS and Propack.
Holding on to second place in the opening laps before being overhauled by Ash Sutton, Daniel found himself running third on the road ahead of the Honda of Josh Cook and put in a fine defensive drive as he made full us of his hybrid to keep Cook at bay.
Although Cook was able to nip ahead on the penultimate to prevent Daniel from securing a podium finish on his first weekend with the team, the fourth place finish means he ends the weekend sitting eighth in the championship standings.
“It hasn’t been the perfect weekend and we have had our problems, but there are plenty of other people who have been in the same boat,” Daniel, who carried ITV’s onboard cameras throughout the weekend, said.
“The damper issue in qualifying was unfortunate because it meant we couldn’t build on the pace from practice but we worked our way forwards in the races and ended on a high – putting on a good show on TV for the fans and getting some good exposure for my sponsors.
“The final race was so tough and I really had to be clever to try and keep Josh behind me. He was going for the switchback all the time so I had to try and block him off and I’m proud of how I drove in that one, although I’m a bit gutted that he got me at the end.
“The hybrid has added a new element to the racing and there is a lot to think about, especially when you are limited on how many laps you can use it. If you are trying not to use it so you have it for later in the race and someone is putting you under pressure like Josh was, then it’s bloody tough!
“Overall, I’m really happy as it was a tough weekend but we got on top our issues quickly and I was able to learn a huge amount. We’re eighth in the championship and there is still plenty more potential in me and the car. Bring on Brands Hatch!”