Daniel Lloyd narrowly takes Clio Winter Cup

by James Broomhead

Daniel Lloyd saw off competition from his Total Control Racing teammate Sam Tordoff and Westbourne Motorsport's James Colburn to win the 2009 Renault Clio Winter Cup by a single point.

Lloyd, from Huddesfield, followed up his 11th place in the summer championship this year, by taking a brace of second positions at the meeting at Rockingham to take the title.

“I've really enjoyed my first season in Clio racing and this has been a great way to end the year, said Lloyd. “My plan is to return to the series in 2010 but that all depends on sponsorship.”

The first race saw the Northamptonshire track damp from an earlier rain shower Tordoff and Lloyd, starting from the from row opted for wet tyres, while many, including James Colburn opted for slick front tyres and wet rears on their front wheel drive Clios.

Tordoff was unable to translate his pole to an early lead, Lloyd quickly pouncing on the opening lap and sending Tordoff back into the clutches of Colburn in third and the pair swapped positions at Deene, Tordoff managing to maintain the position despite beginning to struggle with his full wet set-up.

Then, as Colburn once more tried a move at the corner he dived past Tordoff, only to clash with Lloyd ahead, allowing Tordoff to snatch the lead and Colburn second. Colburn soon took the lead while Tordoff continued to slip back, running wide at Tarzan and slipping back to fourth.

Colburn took his maiden win comfortably, his tyre choice letting him build a 23 second margin at the finish over Lloyd, with Tordoff recovering to third. A result which stood despite Colburn earning two point penalty for the accident at Deene.

The finale saw a close battle between the TCR rivals, with Tordoff again letting the slip from Pole as Lloyd led at the end of lap one. However, fighting for the title, as well as the race win, 20-year-old Tordoff retook the lead at the Deene hairpin on lap three.

Lloyd, mindful of the championship, found himself sandwiched between Tordoff and Colburn in third. However, Lloyd still managed to record the fastest lap of the race, clinching two crucial bonus points.

At the end of the 12-lap race Tordoff took the win by 0.66 seconds from Lloyd and Colburn. Paul Plant, in his first start in the series finished a commendable fourth.

Lloyd's crucial points for fastest lap (1:30.462) in race one saw him complete the four round season with 58 points, with Tordoff and Colburn tied on 57, Tordoff being awarded second in a tie-break.

“I knew going into the final round how many points I needed to win the title,” Lloyd later revealed. “And after Sam got passed me I decided to settle for the place and concentrate on setting the fastest lap which I got.”

Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

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