18 year old Daniel Lloyd had a birthday weekend to remember as he made his single seater racing debut in the BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship presented by Mazda.
Lloyd, the 2009 Elf Renault Clio Winter Cup Champion secured a brace of top 10 finishes at the Homestead Miami Speedway in Florida, and showed true potential at the wheel of a single seat race car.
Around the 2.21m road course in America, Lloyd, who comes from Huddersfield adapted to his new surroundings in double quick time, as his lap times throughout the event improved and showed fighting spirit to recover from incidents in the races.
In his first session in the car, on the 4th March, Lloyds 18th Birthday, Lloyd finished as the 16th fastest driver, and qualifying on the Friday saw another improvement as Lloyd posted the 10th fastest time, ahead of his debut race on the Saturday. Lloyd's qualifying time was within nine tenths of a second of the pole time.
Lloyd made a fantastic start on his race debut on the Saturday, climbing from 10th to 7th place inside the opening couple of laps before being forced off track at turn 1. This off track excursion forced Lloyd into 17th and last position. Lloyd then set about charging back through the field, and got back into the top 10 in 9th place before the red flags caused a premature end to the race.
Sunday's second race saw a less eventful race for Lloyd, having set the 11th best time in the second qualifying session, and had the same race pace as the podium contenders and finished 1.6 seconds behind the race winner, having been a part of the grandstand finish on the final banked curve, and the Yorkshire based youngster took his second top 10 finish of the weekend. Lloyd also set the fourth fastest race lap in the second race.
After his maiden races in America, Lloyd said: “It's been a fantastic experience racing in America for the first time, I think I did a good job on my championship debut, The finish to race two was unbelievably close, only a few 100ths of a second covered the top three and that proves the importance of slip-streaming on the oval turns. I'm pleased with what we've achieved so far and happy with how well I've adapted to single-seaters.”
Lloyd’s next race in the BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship presented by Mazda is the support race to the Sebring 12 Hour American Le Mans Series race, held at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida, the test day for the Skip Barber National Championship is being held on Tuesday 16th March with qualifying and the races being held between Wednesday 17th and Friday 19th March.
Photo credit: BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship presented by Mazda/Jim Altemus