“I’m really, really excited”, says Daniel Lloyd ahead of his Total 24 Hours of Spa debut. The 22-year-old will rejoin the Beechdean AMR team for the centre piece of the Blancpain Endurance Series (July 26-27).
Having driven with the team earlier in the season when the championship visited Silverstone Lloyd will again race alongside team owner Andrew Howard. The quartet of drivers will be completed by Jonny Adam, Howard’s regular co-driver in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, and Stefan Mucke. The German Aston Martin Racing works driver put the team’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3 on pole position for the 2013 running of the race.
The Belgian weekend represents a major milestone in Lloyd’s racing career, which increasingly sees him driving in GT series. “Everything about next weekend will be completely new, I’ve never done a 24 hour race before, never raced in the dark and I’ve never raced at Spa! With such strong team-mates, though, we’ve definitely got a chance of winning Pro-Am and being able to learn from, and compare myself to, factory drivers like Jonny and Stefan is massive.”
The Pro-Am Cup is by far the busiest of the three categories of the Spa 24 grid with nearly half of the entry list contesting the class. Their opposition for the race includes two other GT3 Aston Martin teams boasting works drivers among their staff.
Daniel reflects; “There are loads of teams capable of winning it, I can’t even imagine at this stage how tough it’ll be but being run by Prodrive gives you a lot of confidence. I’ve been doing some more cardio work in my training and lots of research regarding the right supplements you need for hydration and things like that. I’ve put a huge amount of work into my preparation so can’t wait for the race now.”
In keeping with the race’s role as the biggest race of the year the festivities in and around the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on the Wednesday before the race with the traditional parade on public roads to the town of Spa itself.
Free practice and two qualifying sessions are then crowded into Thursday before the pre-race activity reaches a crescendo with the Super Pole session on Friday evening. The race itself will start at 4:30pm local time (3:30pm UK) on Saturday July 26.
“It really is like a mini Le Mans,” Lloyd describes. “We’ll be there on Tuesday and then it all starts with the parade and autograph signings in the village. It’s a huge race and technically the biggest of its kind in the world, at Le Mans you’ve got different categories like LMP1, LMP2, GTE – at Spa you’ve got 60 or so GT3 cars all racing together. I can’t wait, I’ve just got to expect the unexpected!”
www.theCheckeredFlag.co.uk will have coverage throughout the race weekend, including regular updates throughout the race itself.