LLOYD BACK INTO CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 10 AT OULTON PARK Huddersfield's Daniel Lloyd enjoyed an excellent start to his home event at Oulton Park Island Circuit today, Saturday, 30th May, after backing up a career best ELF Renault Clio Cup qualifying...
LLOYD BACK INTO CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 10 AT OULTON PARK
Huddersfield's Daniel Lloyd enjoyed an excellent start to his home event at Oulton Park Island Circuit today, Saturday, 30th May, after backing up a career best ELF Renault Clio Cup qualifying performance with a fighting eighth place during the seventh round of the 2009 season.
Marking his first weekend with multiple championship winning squad Total Control Racing, the series rookie's fourth top 10 finish of the campaign also enabled him to climb back into the coveted top 10 in the driver standings as the second highest placed newcomer. Furthermore, Daniel also posted the third fastest lap of this afternoon's race to underline his terrific progress.
During this morning's half-hour qualifying session, the 17-year-old produced by far his best run of the season with a quickest time of 1m35.327 seconds (84.06mph). More impressive though was his stunningly accurate consistency with his second fastest lap -- which sets the grid for Sunday's eighth round of the championship -- just five 100ths of a second shy, placing him sixth on the grid tomorrow.
"I'm really pleased with the way the weekend has gone so far and I can't wait for tomorrow's race, starting sixth on the grid is easily the highest up the order we've been this year", said Daniel, "The qualifying session went really well, the team gave me a great car which gave me a lot of confidence.
"I didn't make the start I wanted but we still managed to take a top eight finish so I'm obviously happy with that, especially as it's moved us back into the championship top 10. As the race went on I felt more and more comfortable with the car, setting the third fastest lap shows what we can do. I'm really impressed with TCR, hopefully we can all have another great day tomorrow."
Lining up on the fourth row of the grid for this afternoon's race, Daniel didn't get away as well as he intended and lost a handful of positions heading down to Old Hall Corner for the first time. Emerging at the end of the opening lap in ninth place, the West Yorkshire racer set about catching the train of cars ahead and on lap five he gained a place when Aron Smith crashed out at Hislop's.
On lap six, a further incident at Hislop's -- this time a roll for Alex Osborne -- resulted in the Safety Car being deployed in time for the start of lap eight. The race resumed on lap 11 and Daniel made a good job of the re-start, staying in touch with the cars ahead while maintaining a fair gap behind.
Lapping quicker and quicker as the race continued, on the penultimate lap he posted his best time of the race, 1m35.739 seconds, which was the third fastest of any driver and just half a second shy of the quickest lap of all.
The chequered flag fell at the end of lap 15 with Daniel a highly creditable eighth position, just six 10ths of a second shy of TCR team-mate Sam Tordoff but almost three seconds clear of ninth placed David Dickenson.
The eighth round of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup will start at approximately 15.50 tomorrow, Sunday, 31st May, and will be broadcast live on ITV4 which is available through Freeview channel 28, cable channel 117 and digital satellite channel 120. Remember, Daniel will start the race from a Clio Cup career best sixth place.
2009 Provisional ELF Renault Clio Cup Standings (after Rd7): 1st Philip Glew, 205pts; 2nd Alex MacDowall, 177pts; 10th Daniel Lloyd, 70pts