A Dissapointing Weekend At The Glen For Alex Isle Of Man racing driver Alex Lloyd completed another round of the Indy Pro series at the historic circuit of Watkins Glen in the AFS racing car on the weekend 2nd-4th June. It was an...
A Dissapointing Weekend At The Glen For Alex
Isle Of Man racing driver Alex Lloyd completed another round of the Indy Pro series at the historic circuit of Watkins Glen in the AFS racing car on the weekend 2nd-4th June.
It was an extremely successful test day on the Friday, with Alex topping the timesheets in the sessions by a substantial amount. Weather was consistent throughout, dry and reasonably warm. The day finished with Alex setting a new track record of 1min 38.2 secs, with the previous record being at 1 min 39.6 secs. This set Alex in a good position for the rest of the weekend.
"Testing went very well," Alex said. "We were trying a brand new set up and made big improvements throughout the day. It was nice to be as fast as we were as it really shows that the hard work that every individual within the team has put in over the last few races is really paying off. The track was great, loads of undulations and fast corners. The type of track any driver loves."
By the Saturday, weather conditions had changed considerably, it was very wet and temperatures had dropped dramatically. With the conditions being so bad, the 1st of the 2 qualifying sessions had to be cancelled as the safety helicopter was unable to take off with the low cloud cover. When qualifying eventually took place the track was still wet. Alex was on pole position for most of the session, having set a quick lap at the beginning. As the session continued it stopped raining and began to dry out, leaving lap times getting quicker, which in turn meant everybody was frantically trying to put a lap in at the end of the session. Alex unfortunately got held up in some slow traffic and so he missed the opportunity of a clear lap at the end, but he still qualified on the front row in second position.
"The session was a bit of a lottery. With the track drying and so many yellow flags it was very difficult to get a good run. It all came down to the last lap. I really pushed hard but caught some traffic costing me pole."
On Sunday, race day, conditions were constantly changing. Just before the start of the race, it stopped raining and started to clear, so it was pot luck as to what set up to use during the race as the track was not completely dry, so Alex and the team decided to go for an intermediate set up. This would have meant the start of the race would have to be sacrificed, as some drivers had gone for the full wet set up, but as the track dried out it would play into Alex's hands. Whilst sat on the grid minutes before the green flag to start the race, the heavens opened and it started to rain heavier than it had all weekend, but by this time it was too late to change the set up and the race started. Alex was experiencing severe aqua plaining, and lost a position taking him down to third. As the race continued it was clear the set up just wasn't right for the conditions and the front 2 cars eased away. After around 10 laps Alex touched the slippery white line on the outside of turn 8 and slid off into the barrier, ending his race on the spot.
"I'm gutted" said a somber Alex. "It was a gamble with the set up that we chose, and unfortunately with the unpredictable weather conditions it didn't pay off. I was pushing 110% to try and stay with the front 2 and they kept pulling away. As I came into turn 8 I just went in fractionally too hard and that was that. I feel really bad for the team as we really wanted the win and after our dominant performance on Friday, nothing else was good enough. As disappointing as this is we can still come away with great positives with our dry performance and the speed we had. We know there is still more to come and I look forward to going for the win at Indy in a few weeks."
Alex's next race is on July 1st on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the support race on the F1 weekend.
-Alex Lloyd Racing Ltd