17 year old Elf Renault Clio Cup racer Daniel Lloyd has confirmed he is to leave the Championship and is to race over in America, in the 2010 BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship presented by Mazda.
Lloyd, who is based in Scammonden, West Yorkshire was a renowned karter before his graduation into cars for the 2008 season, where he took 3 wins en route to 4th place overall in his maiden season of racing in the highly competitive Ginetta Junior Championship. This enhanced his potential and ability, and saw him graduate into the Clio Cup for 2009, and had a number of impressive showings as the season went on, including leading the opening few laps at Rockingham before retiring from the race. His best result in the main series was a 5th place, and was named as driver of the day on two occasions.
Daniel went on to win the Clio Cup Winter Series, having beaten team mate Sam Tordoff by 1 point.
Daniel chose to join the American racing scene having evaluated all his options for the 2010 season, and had this to say about his decision: “This is a really exciting development for my career, My aim is to become a professional racing driver at the highest level possible and that's why we've taken the decision to race in the Skip Barber National Championship in America this year.
“There are currently many more opportunities in the States to open doors than in the UK, plus we've been offered a very attractive deal by the guys at Skip Barber to join them. It's undoubtedly going to be a tough challenge to switch from saloons to single-seaters but I'm really looking forward to it and I'm confident in my ability to progress quickly.”
Daniel has never raced a single seater race car before, so ahead of his competitive debut in the Skip Barber National Championship, he will spend time testing a Formula Ford car, to help his adjust to single seater racing. The challenge of changing from tin tops to single seaters is one that doesn't faze Daniel at all.
Daniels Skip Barber National Championship debut will be at the 2.3 mile road course Homestead Miami Speedway, in Florida on the 5th – 7th March, as part of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, the opening round of 14 rounds. Each round will feature a double header of races.
The BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship presented by Mazda is a key rung in National motorsport in America, and a number of today's stars have started their careers in the series; current NASCAR Driver A.J Allmendinger, former Williams and McLaren F1 star, and previous Indy 500 race winner Juan Pablo Montoya as well as fellow Indy winners Kenny Brack and Helio Castroneves.
The last 2 champions of the series, Conor Daly and Connor De Phillipi have gone on to win the Walter Hayes trophy race in the UK, while the 2008 Championship runner up, Josef Newgarden ended up as the 2009 Formula Ford UK 'Rookie of the year'.