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January 17, 2008

Lloyd graduates from karts to cars

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Daniel Lloyd’s dream of becoming a professional racing driver took a giant step forward when he was unveiled as the latest competitor in the Playstation Ginetta Junior Championship, at Autosport International last weekend (11-13 January, Birmingham NEC).

Ending weeks of speculation, the talented young racer signed-up for Britain’s premier junior motor racing series with Tockwith Motorsport. Daniel said: “Every young karter dreams of being a racing driver – and now I am one. I honestly cannot wait.”

Daniel put off moving into cars in 2007 after winning the prestigious BRDC Stars of Tomorrow Shoot-out last January. As one of Britain’s top up and coming karters, he was invited to Silverstone (19 January 2007) to compete for a fully-paid drive in the Playstation Junior Ginetta Championship – the sports car-based series for 14 to 16-year olds. The teenager promptly won one of the available drives (alongside JHordon Lennox-Lamb), but school and karting commitments prevented him from taking up the prize.

 


  This year though – he’s ready: “Winning the Scholarship was brilliant but just came at the wrong time. I’d just started doing my GCSEs and had signed to contest the Stars of Tomorrow and Super 1 series with NJR (Nick Jest Racing). Carolynn Hoy, (the Stars championship supremo) very kindly agreed to postpone my taking up the prize for 12 months. After the Copa de Campeones (at Vendrell in Spain, 6-9 December ‘07), we had to decide whether or not to stay in karts or take the Scholarship – but you can’t turn down an opportunity like this though, can you?”
 

In pre-season testing, Daniel’s pace has already made a big impression. Ginetta boss Richard Dean asserts: “I’m delighted that Daniel’s joined the series. He’s got bags of potential and is a smashing lad. He’s going to be one to watch.”

And there will be plenty of people watching. The Ginetta Junior Championship will be present at all ten rounds of this year’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Richard Dean again: “For a driver like Daniel, being able to stand on the podium on the same day as his heroes like Fabrizio Giovanardi and Jason Plato and in front of the huge number of spectators who travel to BTCC meetings will be out of this world.” Dean also believes the cars, powered by identical 1400cc engines and capable of 100mph, will provide the crowds with plenty of thrills.

He added: “The racing will be more exciting than ever because our young drivers will want to impress the BTCC team managers and Britain’s biggest motor sport crowds.”

 
   

Perhaps even tougher than trying to win this year’s championship at the first attempt, was talking in front of thousands of motorsport fans at Autosport International. Daniel explains: “I visited the Ginetta stand to talk about the championship and my Scholarship drive and I was interviewed with loads of people watching me. That was a bit nerve wracking but then I went on the Stars stage and there were even more people! It was a bit mad really, I’d gone from sitting my exams all week to doing an interview on the same stage as people like (Red Bull Racing’s) Mark Webber!

 



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