Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholar Daniel Lloyd ended his maiden season in the prestigious sportscar championship a highly creditable sixth in the driver standings at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 21st October – rounding out 2012 in style with the fastest lap in the final race of the year.
Persistent rain throughout raceday made track conditions incredibly difficult, treacherous in fact, but the 20-year-old from Huddersfield rose to the challenge and turned-in two of the most impressive race performances of his rookie season, almost securing his fifth podium of the year.
Round 20 was certainly the pick of the two encounters in terms of outstanding skill and pace and although a costly excursion on lap nine at Surtees, while running in third place and catching the cars ahead, spoiled his hopes of a podium, his recovery was sensational.
Beginning the race from seventh on the grid, the TNT Post, TSD, Creechurch Private Wealth, Propack and TPA Yorkshire-supported driver made an excellent start to move into sixth by Paddock Hill Bend before usurping team-mate Richard Plant for fifth.
Challenging Rory Butcher for fourth, Daniel momentarily moved ahead on lap two before slipping back after going slightly wide but then moved up into fourth at the expense of Jonas Gelzinis who ran off the circuit at Surtees where grip was at a premium.
Taking third from Butcher at Druids Hairpin on lap six, the West Yorkshireman instantly began to pull away and no sooner had he got some clear space he began to punch in fastest lap times – posting the best of the race, 1m40.425 seconds (87.22mph), on the seventh tour.
Rapidly closing down the two cars ahead, on lap nine everything went awry after sliding wide at Surtees. Maintaining his composure though, Daniel rejoined the track in sixth place behind former double Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion James Sutton and on lap 13 he produced an absolutely awe-inspiring pass on the outside through Dingle Dell and into Sheene Curve to take fifth.
“We had race winning pace today”, said Daniel, “I don’t know if we could have won race two, we would have had second place and it could possibly have been a win. I’ll be kicking myself through the winter though, the small mistake I made was costly. I’m absolutely gutted to be honest but I put on a good show, got the fastest lap in race two and the move at Sheene on [James] Sutton was great.”
In round 19, the Team Parker Racing driver launched well from the line to move from seventh to fifth. Running in a tight, four-car train, he challenged for third at Surtees on lap four but ran slightly wide and was elbowed back to sixth. Recovering well, he took fifth at Paddock on lap seven and then grabbed fourth on lap 12 at Surtees – having almost made the move stick a couple of laps before.
“We would have liked a stronger end to the season”, said Daniel, “We’ve had some massive ups and some pretty big downs as well but hopefully the downs will just make me stronger for next year which is the important one. To have won a race in my first season, and had a few other podiums as well, really is fantastic and more than we probably expected when I won the Scholarship.
“I want to say a massive thank you to Porsche GB and Marion [Barnaby – Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship Coordinator] for giving me the chance to race in Porsche this year and, obviously, big thanks to Team Parker, my fantastic sponsors and my family – it’s been a great year on the whole.”
Daniel now heads into the winter months working hard to secure the sponsorship for 2013 where he will once again run as the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholar for an unprecedented second season.
Final 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship Driver Standings:
CHAMPION: Michael Meadows, 320; 6th Daniel Lloyd, 202pts