LLOYD RETAINS CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 10 AT FRANTIC SILVERSTONE Round 16 of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup was a case of what might have been for championship front-runner Daniel Lloyd at Silverstone National Circuit today, Sunday, 30th August, when a...
LLOYD RETAINS CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 10 AT FRANTIC SILVERSTONE
Round 16 of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup was a case of what might have been for championship front-runner Daniel Lloyd at Silverstone National Circuit today, Sunday, 30th August, when a potential maiden podium went begging during one of the most frantic and robust encounters of the season.
Brilliantly battling his way into contention for the rostrum from sixth on the grid with impressive lap times throughout, the West Yorkshire 17-year-old was well placed in third position at mid-distance but it all went wrong for him four laps from the finish when contact dropped him down the order.
Running in third position on lap 18 ahead of Tom Carnaby and Aron Smith, Scammonden-based Daniel was tagged from behind at Becketts which dropped him to fourth and then further contact at Brooklands forced the Total Control Racing star off the circuit, losing him more places.
Rejoining the track in seventh position, Daniel remained there to the chequered flag on lap 21 but post race he was served with a 1.5 second penalty -- a decision by the Clerk of the Course relating to an incident early in the race -- which dropped him to ninth on the final classification. Even so, he retains 10th position in the driver standings, just a single point behind Carl Bradley.
Obviously disappointed to see his chance of a first ever ELF Renault Clio Cup podium slip through his fingers, the category rookie was nonetheless very pleased with the pace he has produced all weekend at Silverstone and is now looking forward to the next two races three weeks from now.
He commented: "Today showed again we have the pace to run at the front and we had a realistic chance to be on the podium. It's a shame there was the contact but it was that kind of race, on almost every lap someone went wide, had contact or got into trouble. It's good we at least took away another top 10 finish but really frustrating as that first podium could have been ours today."
At the start of this afternoon's race, Daniel quickly climbed into the top four and managed to avoid a multi-car accident at Copse but in doing so it gave Andrew Herron the chance to carry better momentum through the corner and push Daniel back to fifth position.
Due to the first corner collision, the Safety Car was deployed and the re-start came on lap six with Daniel staying tight to the rear of Herron's car. Lapping as quickly as the cars ahead, the teenage sensation pushed on to try and force Herron into a mistake while also keeping an eye on his mirrors with Smith close behind in sixth place.
On lap 10, contact between Daniel and Herron at Brooklands enabled Smith to get ahead of both but two circuits later, Daniel was on the receiving end of another shove at Becketts. On lap 15, the TCR ace grabbed third from Smith into Brooklands but on the 18th tour Daniel's car was tagged from behind again with further contact compounding matters and dropping Daniel to seventh place.
As during Saturday's 15th round, today's race underlined the progress the Clio Cup rookie is making with his best lap of 1m05.753 seconds just two 10ths of a second outside the new Silverstone National Circuit record.
Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit in Northamptonshire is the next venue on the 2009 calendar with rounds 17 and 18 of the championship taking place three weeks from now over the weekend 19th/20th September.
2009 Provisional ELF Renault Clio Cup Standings (after Rd16): 1st Philip Glew, 462pts; 2nd Alex MacDowall, 351pts; 10th Daniel Lloyd, 187pts