Huddersfield racer Daniel Lloyd celebrated a return to the Avon Tyres British GT championship podium at Rockingham.
A great drive in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 by Lloyd and Oman Racing Team partner Ahmad Al Harthy in the qualifying session saw the duo secure third on the packed GT3 grid.
Al Harthy made good work of the opening stint, closing in on the race leaders in the early stages of the race to take second spot from the Beechdean Aston Martin, before handing over to Lloyd shortly after the pit stop window opened.
A well executed pit stop by the squad allowed Lloyd to jump into the race lead as the second hour got underway.
Lloyd was immediately under pressure from hard charging BMW factory driver Alexander Sims.
The Oman Racing Team driver defended well holding off the faster BMW as the race developed before eventually conceding the race lead after being forced to take evasive action to avoid contact with lapped back markers.
A late safety car appearance in the closing laps delivered more high drama for Lloyd with the chasing pack – headed by Oman Racing teammate Rory Butcher – closing in on, but Lloyd held off the final challenge to cross the line in second – claiming his first British GT podium of 2015.
“The meeting was good for us,” said Lloyd.
“Ahmad and I both posted good times in the sessions and got a set up that we liked so it gave us a solid start for the race.
“Ahmad did a great job in his stint, in tough conditions.
“It was very greasy out on track and he did well to keep the car safe and kept the pressure on Attard all the way.
“We knew that we had a five second lead on Sims after the pit stop and that he was catching me, but with over an hour left to go and knowing he was a good chunk quicker than me we didn’t want to back ourselves into a difficult position and drop down into third or fourth place.
“We managed to keep him behind us for a good while and build up a good gap from third place but unfortunately I had to go wide to get around a GT4 back marker.
“As soon as I touched the brake going into the hairpin the car just locked up because of the pick-up on the tyres and that was it unfortunately.”
The result at Rockingham delivered a real boost to Lloyd’s 2015 British GT campaign and the championship now has a four week break before reconvening at the Silverstone on May 30-31.
“I’m really pleased with the way I competed,” added Lloyd.
“I just kept it clean and consistent and didn’t make any mistakes and thankfully it delivered the result we deserved.
“To get second place, with the extra points was brilliant for our championship challenge.
“The Oman Racing Team did a great job again, the pit stop was awesome and the car was spot on.
“We really needed that result and it’ll be a case of heads down and looking to do the same thing at Silverstone in a few weeks time.”
Lloyd will be joined by Al Harthy and Aston Martin works driver Jonny Adam in the Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage at Silverstone a week earlier as the trio contest the only UK round of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series on May 23-24.