CLIO CUP ROOKIE LLOYD STARS AT SILVERSTONE GP FOR TCR West Yorkshire's Daniel Lloyd provided two stunning performances at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit today, Sunday, 5th July, on an otherwise frustrating weekend for Wednesbury-based ELF...
CLIO CUP ROOKIE LLOYD STARS AT SILVERSTONE GP FOR TCR
West Yorkshire's Daniel Lloyd provided two stunning performances at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit today, Sunday, 5th July, on an otherwise frustrating weekend for Wednesbury-based ELF Renault Clio Cup squad Total Control Racing.
The multiple champion team, currently second overall in the entrant standings, endured more than its fair share of misfortune during the 11th and 12th rounds of the season but for 17-year-old Lloyd the races turned out to be his best since graduating to Clios at the start of the year.
Qualifying an uncharacteristic 18th on the grid for the first race after a tricky run on Saturday afternoon, Lloyd scorched through the order to secure a phenomenal sixth place finish and then backed that up with seventh position during round 12, this time from 12th on the grid. He also set the second quickest lap in race one of 2m10.385 seconds (141.9km/h).
For Alex MacDowall, the category runner-up, the World Series by Renault-supporting race meeting proved to be anything but fortunate when contact from returning 2008 ELF Renault Clio Cup champion Ben Winrow put him out of the first race midway through, denting his title bid.
Although repairing his car as well as possible in the time leading up to race two, the chassis was still bent following Winrow's contact and so MacDowall slipped down the order from his pole position starting place to an uncharacteristic 18th position finish. Even so, the Cumbrian racer thankfully retains second place in the championship.
Mike Robinson and Sam Tordoff proved to be very evenly matched and in the second encounter, Leeds-based Tordoff actually posted the fastest lap of the race and grabbed the additional two bonus points to add to his season's tally. His time of 2m10.637 seconds (141.6km/h) just shaded that managed by team-mate Robinson, the latter's best effort being 2m10.681 seconds (141.6km/h).
Effingham driver Robinson ended race two in ninth place, a mere three 10ths of a second ahead of Tordoff, while in the first of the weekend's two encounters it was Tordoff who enjoyed the better of it with a fine eighth place finish. Unfortunately for Robinson, his race ended just over a lap from the finish when an incident left his car stranded off the circuit at the exit of Bridge.
"It's been a frustrating day really, the results for Daniel have been good but for everyone else -- and even Daniel himself actually -- they are quicker than where their finishes suggest", said team principal Lee Brookes, "In the second race, Sam set fastest race lap and Mike was second fastest. In the first race, Daniel had the second quickest lap so we've proven the pace is there.
"Alex had a nightmare just because of (Ben) Winrow, the chassis was still bent when he went out for the second race. We did all we could to straighten it but there was something still wrong there. I think he may also have picked up another problem in race two as his pace dropped away a lot. It's been a bad weekend for us in all honesty but fair play to Daniel, he did a storming job.
"The cars are on the pace for sure. Qualifying was a bit of a nightmare for three of the four drivers and then the races went wrong for everyone besides Daniel. We know we'll be strong at Snetterton in a few weeks, we'll bounce back hopefully."
TCR's next track action will come four weeks from now with rounds 13 and 14 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup and rounds 15, 16 and 17 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup taking place over the weekend 1st/2nd August at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk.
Provisional 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup Standings (after Rd12): Drivers: 2nd Alex MacDowall, 270pts; 6th Mike Robinson, 181pts; 9th Daniel Lloyd, 145pts; 10th Sam Tordoff, 124pts Team: 2nd Total Control Racing, 510pts