Huddersfield driver Daniel Lloyd endured a frustrating first visit to Zandvoort.
With changeable conditions at the Dutch track for round three of the Blancpain Sprint Series, Lloyd and teammate Sten Pentus had a points finish but felt they could have done better.
Following a strong result in the qualification race, also run in heavy rain, the Bhai Tech Racing duo had a good chance of a good result in the main race, but an unscheduled pit-stop for wet-weather tyres put paid to a potential top 10 result.
“It was great to qualify as the fastest in my team, but we knew it would be hard work in the main race.
“The weather conditions just didn’t work in our favour, it’s a tough decision to make out on the circuit and every decision we made, the weather did the exact opposite!”
Beginning the qualification race from 17th on the grid, Lloyd took the opening stint at the wheel of the newly liveried black, white and lime green No61 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 and held position over the course of the early laps on a track damp offline from earlier rain.
As the pit visit obviously came at the expense of a loss of vital time, the trade-off against the benefits of increased grip over the rest of the pack was certainly a gamble worth taking.
Holding 12th position just prior to the re-start on lap 16, the mandatory driver-change was made to hand the car over to Pentus and the Estonian emerged on track in 16th place.
Another Safety Car period occurred with around 15 minutes remaining, after which Pentus made significant gains over the final few laps as others encountered difficulties – ultimately finishing in a season-best seventh.
Giving the McLaren a fourth row start for the main race, Pentus took the opening stint but was nudged back to 10th place prior to the emergence of the Safety Car after an incident at Turn One.
Remaining in the top 10 after the resumption, as the mandatory pit-stops began at mid-distance, the Bhai Tech car moved into eighth before Pentus pitted to hand over to Lloyd – the Scammonden racer rejoining the track with almost half an hour of racing left in 14th position.
Unbelievably, within seconds rain started to fall at Zandvoort and the track surface became slippery very quickly.
With conditions getting treacherous, Lloyd had to make an unscheduled return to the pits for treaded rubber and eventually ended the encounter in 15th position.
There is now a lengthy seven week break in the Blancpain Sprint Series calendar with round four of the season set to be contested at the Slovakia Ring over the weekend of August 23/24.
Before then Lloyd will be preparing for the biggest race of his career as he turns his attention to his second outing of the year in the sister event the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Rejoining the Beechdean Aston Martin Racing Team, with whom he made his Endurance Series debut at Silverstone at the end of May, Lloyd is to participate in his first ever twice-round-the-clock race when he joins Jonny Adam, Andrew Howard and Stefan Mücke for the annual Total 24 Hours of Spa at the Belgian track on July 26/27.
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