Despite a strong performance during qualifying for Daniel Lloyd, the opening round of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series held at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on 11/12 April ended in disappointment for the Oman Racing Team.
Lloyd’s debut race weekend at the historic Monza circuit started well, with a strong qualifying run. He posted a lap time which put the #44 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 into 6th in the Pro Cup class, and P9 overall. However, teammates Ahmad Al Harthy and Jonny Adam were unable to improve on this time, with the latter being caught out by a red flag. The Kent-based team were forced to start the race from P20 on the grid.
Lloyd drove the Aston Martin for the first stint of the three hour race, and had an impressive pace on the challenging circuit, moving up to 11th position before pitting.
“The start was terrifying and it can be a hard one to judge right but I did the right thing and managed to get up a couple of places round the 1st chicane.”
Unfortunately, there was a problem with the air jacks in the pit box, which held co-driver Al Harthy up for almost a minute, which saw the car plummet down the standings.
The final hour of the race was Jonny Adam’s stint, and the Scottish driver drove very well, making up places until a late safety car stopped any hope of moving further up the field. The team finished 16th in class, and 26th overall, out of a total 58 competitors.
“Not the weekend or the results that we wanted but we still have some really good positives to take away from it;” commented Daniel, who remains positive for the season ahead. “I had good pace in my test and I was really happy with my times on a circuit that I’d never been to before so that was great and something that we can build on for the next round at Silverstone where the Aston should be better suited.”
The Oman Racing Team’s next challenge will be the Rockingham round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship on 2/3 May. The Blancpain Endurance Series returns on 23/24 May for the 3 Hours of Silverstone, a track at which the Aston Martin is expected to perform better.