IMPRESSIVE CLASS WIN AND DOUBLE PODIUM FOR LLOYD ON GT DEBUT Huddersfield 18-year-old Daniel Lloyd made a major impact on his Avon Tyres British GT Championship debut at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 26th September, by taking an ...
IMPRESSIVE CLASS WIN AND DOUBLE PODIUM FOR LLOYD ON GT DEBUT
Huddersfield 18-year-old Daniel Lloyd made a major impact on his Avon Tyres British GT Championship debut at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 26th September, by taking an outstanding G4 Class victory in atrocious conditions during the second of the weekend's two 'endurance' races.
Teaming up with fellow British GT rookie Julien Draper in a G4 Class Ginetta G50, run by the crack Barwell Motorsport squad, Daniel produced a typically competitive drive when he took the wheel for the second stint of round 12 and brilliantly worked his way to the front of the class.
At one stage lapping with the same pace as the front-running GT3 Class Porsches of Philip Walker and overall championship leader David Ashburn, the Scammonden-based GT rookie grabbed the lead of G4 at Graham Hill Bend on lap 22 after reading the situation perfectly following a short Safety Car period.
The result capped off a superb maiden weekend in British GT for Daniel with the talented racer securing a third place podium finish during the opening encounter after a sparkling first stint, in which he actually led the race outright for a handful of laps.
"It's been an absolutely fantastic weekend, we wanted to try and push for a podium but to actually take two, including a win, was unbelievable", said Daniel, "I've had an amazing time and I want to say a huge thank you to Julien (Draper), Mark Lemmer and Chris Needell at Barwell, and to my manager Tim Sugden for helping put the deal together. Julien did a great job, especially in the second race; we couldn't have wished for a better debut in GTs."
In race one, round 11 of the season, the 2009 Renault Clio Cup Winter Champion and Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship points scorer took the opening stint and immediately made an impression with an electric start.
Lining up third in class on the grid thanks to a strong debut qualifying effort on Saturday, Daniel went around the outside of the Century Motorsport G50 at Paddock Hill Bend and remained on the outside line as he rounded Druids Hairpin, allowing him to edge ahead of Jamie Stanley's Ginetta.
Stanley got back ahead on the run to Graham Hill Bend but Daniel wasn't to be denied and dived up the inside at Surtees to take the class lead within just four corners of his maiden GT outing! Having built up a four second cushion, his lead was eroded on lap four due to a Safety Car intervention but at the re-start he carved open an even bigger advantage of almost eight seconds.
Following the opening of the pit-window for driver changes, Daniel remained on track and by lap 15 he was into the top three overall as several GT3 cars made their stops -- having posted the quickest G4 lap of 1m34.581 seconds (87.57mph) in the process.
Into lap 17 he led the whole race and before pitting himself at the end of the 19th tour, he established a cushion in G4 which enabled Draper to take over with a seven second lead in class. Although slipping back, Draper ended up third.
"To come out of the first race with a podium was fantastic", said Daniel, "At the start I went around the outside at Paddock and Druids and then had the inside for Graham Hill. I had a lunge at Surtees and that got me the lead of the class. I built a really big gap but then the Safety Car came out so I had to do it all again. It was great to lead for so long, I absolutely love GTs and I definitely want more."
Draper took the opening stint for race two, round 12, and he handed the Ginetta G50 over to Daniel with just over half an hour remaining. Joining the track fourth in G4, he quickly moved into third in class and then, after a short cautionary period to recover the Osborne Racing G50 from the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, Daniel mounted his attack at the re-start.
Running in the thick of the action with a mixture of GT3 and G4 cars, he moved into second in class past Jamie Stanley's G50 at Druids Hairpin and then sliced past Vibe Smed's Ginetta at Graham Hill when the latter got out of shape on the exit. Instantly building an impressive lead, Daniel charged away at the front of the G4 Class and eventually took the win by almost seven seconds.