Scammonden racer Daniel Lloyd endured highs and lows at Oulton Park.
In the latest round of the British Touring Car Championship impressive pace netted the 24-year-old a front row start at the Cheshire circuit.
However, his sensational qualifying result unfortunately went unrewarded during rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the Dunlop MSA Championship.
A series of setbacks prevented Lloyd from capitalising on his impressive pace in qualifying when he narrowly missed out on pole position by just 0.019 seconds to two-time BTCC champion Colin Turkington in the works-backed Subaru.
Lloyd’s incredible performance also delivered a first front-row start for the Eurotech Racing team in over two years.
“Getting position two in qualifying on only our second time out in the Honda was fantastic,” said Lloyd.
“I’m still getting used to the tyres and learning how to get the most from them, so to just miss out on pole was incredible.
“The Eurotech guys did a great job. The Honda felt really good and actually I was a bit gutted about a mistake in the first corner as I think we definitely could have got pole, but everyone was over the moon!”
Starting on the Dunlop soft compound tyre for the opening race Lloyd got off to a strong start in the opening laps before being edged out wide by the works-Honda on lap two.
Having lost a couple of places Lloyd battled hard holding off challenges from Plato’s charging Subaru for three laps on the challenging circuit before an illegal move by the Team BMR driver forced Lloyd’s Honda Civic Type R to surrender another spot, dropping him down into fifth.
Struggling with the grip in the later laps, Lloyd was unfortunately passed on the start-finish straight and had to settle with a sixth place finish.
Race two failed to deliver the improvements that Lloyd was hoping for with the Honda 23 Civic struggling on outright pace and handling on the tight and twisty circuit.
Despite his best efforts, a problem with the Honda’s brakes saw Lloyd drop down the order during the 15 lap outing to eventually end the race in 13th place.
Having made some set-up changes and replaced the brake pads on the Civic, Lloyd and the Eurotech squad were full of confidence heading into race three.
The Honda charged off the line, immediately moving up in 10th in the opening laps before taking Morgan for ninth just after the mid-way point.
With the mid-pack bunched up as they challenged for places on lap 13, Lloyd took a massive hit as they headed into the chicane, forcing the Honda off track with significant damage and ending Lloyd’s weekend early – recording his first DNF.
“It was unfortunate the way the races ended up after such a strong qualifying result but I have to take all the positives away from the weekend,” said Lloyd.
“I’m really proud to have put the car on the front row on only my second weekend in the car.
“That’s what we’re there to do, to show how quick I am and I have to say to a big thank you to the guys at Eurotech Racing for giving me the chance to do that with such a great car.
“It was great for all my sponsors to be there. We had a lot of guests there from Mend-A-Hose, Silver Bay Point, Support Warehouse and Propack and to be able to get them onto the front row of the grid for the first race was good and something they’ll hopefully remember.
“It’s still a steep learning curve for us in the BTCC in terms of race set-up and pace, but I had some really strong starts this weekend and took a big step forward from Thruxton. We have lots of positives to take into the next meeting at Croft where we’ll be looking for another strong qualifying result and to improve our race pace.”
Highlights from Oulton Park will be shown on ITV4 from 1.25–3pm on Saturday and are available on demand via the ITV hub at www.ITV.com .
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now has a short two week break before heading to Lloyd’s local circuit and the only Yorkshire track on the calendar, Croft for rounds 13, 14 and 15 on June 18-19.