Daniel Lloyd salvages triple score from challenging Brands Hatch battle
Daniel Lloyd maintained his 100 per cent scoring record in the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season with a battling display on track at Brands Hatch in the second meeting of the new campaign.
Huddersfield-based Daniel made the long trip to Kent eager to try and build on an encouraging start to life with the EXCELR8 Motorsport team, having narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the season opener at Donington Park.
After two tricky practice sessions around the short Indy circuit, radical changes to the set-up of the Hyundai i30 Fastback N were planned for qualifying and although that improved the handling of the #123 entry, a failure of the hybrid system would cost Daniel valuable time as he posted the 16th best time.
Having been just 0.22 seconds off P2, it was a case of what might have been for the 247 Blinds, ABRACS, Propack and Heatworks-backed driver had his hybrid allocation been available.
Rain on race day meant a fresh challenge for Daniel who had no previous experience of the Hyundai or the hybrid in wet conditions, and race one would be made more difficult by an issue on the opening lap that left him with too much brake bias on the rear of the car.
That led to a wild moment at Clearways that dropped Daniel to the back of the field but an impressive recovery – despite once again being without use of his hybrid – saw him battle his way through to 15th place to grab the final championship point.
With his hybrid system now working for the second race, Daniel’s forward progress continued as he emerged from a frantic battle with the BMWs of George Gamble and Colin Turkington with a solid eighth place.
Having elected to make changes to the car for race three in a bid to make up ground from fifth on the reverse grid, worsening weather conditions would instead hamper Daniel’s chances of pushing for the podium although he would bring the car home in ninth spot for a fourth top ten finish in six starts.
It means Daniel sits tenth in the championship standings ahead of the next round at Thruxton in two weeks time.
“It’s been a challenging weekend and there were a number of little issues that we had to deal with, but we have come away from it with some more solid results on the board,” he said.
“We’re still trying to find the sweet spot for me with the car and we went a certain way with the set-up going into the weekend, but I knew after practice that we’d gone the wrong way and we made some pretty big changes ahead of qualifying.
“Had the hybrid not failed, I’m sure we’d have been in the top six on the grid as the times were so close, but I was still confident about what was possible in the races.
“The braking problem at the start of race one certainly didn’t help, but the fact we were able to come through to score points without the hybrid working showed how good the car was, and we took advantage in race two to get up into the top ten. More points in race three was a solid way to finish the weekend, so it’s not been too bad when you consider everything that was thrown at us.
“We’ve been right in the thick of the action this weekend, and that meant some great coverage for my sponsors – particularly with the onboard shots that featured the 247 Blinds logo. The ITV audience reached a peak of more than half a million viewers, which is fantastic for the series and once again shows amazing value for the partners who are involved in my programme.
“We just need to get the car in the right place for my driving style and I have no doubt that once we get that sorted, we’ll be right up there in the top five or six on a regular basis. We know the pace is there in the car, and it’s just a case of putting the final pieces of the puzzle in place so what we can arrive at a track and be on it from the start.”