DANIEL LLOYD -- 2009 ELF RENAULT CLIO WINTER CUP CHAMPION! West Yorkshire's Daniel Lloyd sealed the first title victory of his short car racing career at Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 7th November --...
DANIEL LLOYD -- 2009 ELF RENAULT CLIO WINTER CUP CHAMPION!
West Yorkshire's Daniel Lloyd sealed the first title victory of his short car racing career at Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 7th November -- two podium finishes and an all-important fastest race lap enabling the teenager to clinch the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Winter Cup.
In only his second season of competition in cars, and first year at the wheel of a Renault Clio, the Scammonden-based racer headed into the second of today's encounters in the middle of an intriguing three-way battle for the championship crown...and emerged with the title by a single point!
"It's fantastic to win the Winter Cup, I'm over the moon", said Daniel, "This weekend's results show what we'll be capable of in 2010 if we can raise the budget to be back in Clios. We had a lot of bad luck in the main championship but this is a great end to the year and a good springboard for next season."
Daniel's weekend didn't start smoothly by any means during testing when a gearbox problem meant he would have to run in a different Clio during qualifying. Marking the first time he had ever driven this particular car, the Propack-supported racer did a fantastic job to adapt seamlessly and also come within a whisker of bagging a maiden Clio Cup pole position.
His pace in race one was compromised by the decision to run on treaded tyres and although having led the race early on, as the track quickly dried he was reeled in by James Colburn who had gambled to run with slick tyres on his front wheels. Unceremoniously barging Daniel out of the lead on lap four, Colburn was served with a two point penalty for his actions but took the win to head the standings.
Daniel's second place in the opening 12-lapper was certainly hard-earned as he had to battle serious tyre degradation. On a level playing field in race two though he was able to show his true pace and do everything he needed to grab the champion's trophy.
Taking the lead after a great start, Daniel headed the pack and quickly began to punch in fastest laps but a small mistake on lap three at Yentwood enabled Tordoff to get ahead. With his tyres not offering full grip due to his minor excursion, Daniel had to bide his time before pushing to the maximum again but when he could he took the two crucial bonus points with a lap of 1m30.462 seconds (77.20mph).
He said: "Today was the first time I'd driven this car, which obviously wasn't ideal, but after race one I knew what I needed to do to win the cup. The team told me on my pit-board when I had the fastest lap, so at that point I knew I had to stay tight to the back of Sam's car to pressurise him and make sure he didn't have a chance to pull a gap and try and take the bonus points for fastest lap himself.
"When I got the lead early on, I did make a couple of mistakes and ran on the dirt so it took about three laps to clean the tyres up. As soon as I'd done that I was able to push for the fastest lap and in the end I got it by about 0.4 seconds which was fantastic -- big thanks to TCR for doing an amazing job with the car. Now the hard work starts to try and raise the budget for next season!"