Daniel Lloyd takes historic victory in TCR UK season-opener

5 Mins read
Credit: TCR UK

After securing pole position for Race 1, Dan Lloyd wrote his name into the motorsport history books by taking a lights-to-flag victory in the first ever TCR UK race.

Starting together on the front row, Lloyd and Aiden Moffat launched their cars off of the starting grid and instantly created some distance between themselves and the on-rushing pack. Howard Fuller, meanwhile, bogged down from third place and soon dropped to fifth as Lewis Kent and Ollie Taylor rushed past. Further back, Darelle Wilson was also a bit sluggish away from the line, which played nicely into the hands of Olli Kangas and Finlay Crocker.

Fuller’s early woes continued into the first couple of corners as both Andreas Backman and Carl Swift managed to pass the SWR Honda Civic too. Heading into Brooklands, Aiden Moffat sniffed an opportunity to take the lead but ultimately wasn’t close enough, unlike Ollie Taylor who managed to slip into 3rd place ahead of Kent.

Howard Fuller (blue Honda, right) had work to do after bogging down off the start line. Credit: TCR UK

On lap two, Kent made the same mistake and again left the door open at Brooklands, allowing Andreas Backman to sweep past on the inside this time. Carl Swift had been showing promising pace in the early stages of the race, despite having to deal with the less-favoured DSG gearbox in his car. Sadly though, as he entered that same left-hander with Lewis Kent in his sights, all grip from the rear wheels was lost and he promptly span out of contention. It could’ve been far worse, however, as Swift came within inches of clattering into Kent’s Hyundai.

Howard Fuller was keen to make progress back up the order following his disappointing start to race one. On lap 4, he took advantage of Kent’s somewhat naive track positioning with a late dive up the inside into Brooklands. Despite not racing for three years, Fuller had certainly lost none of his attacking racecraft. By the time the cars then got to Copse corner, Lewis Kent’s race really was beginning to fall apart as Olli Kangas then made a move to take 6th position. The Finn then got all out of shape on the exit of the corner, and as a result, the pack bunched up onto the Wellington straight.

A slide from Olli Kangas (left) would cause the midfield pack to bunch up. Credit: TCR UK

Sandwiched in the middle, Kent had Kangas to his left and Crocker to his right, while Darelle Wilson was right behind in a bid to get four cars side-by-side. Somehow, the youngster in the Hyundai managed to hold off his attackers, at least until the cars got round to the start-finish straight. Having got an overlap, Finlay Crocker powered past Kent’s Hyundai (which we would later find out was suffering from turbo-related issues, hence the lack of race pace).

By now, six cars were running nose-to-tail, and so disaster was perhaps inevitable. Heading into Woodcote corner, Darelle Wilson was the next to launch an attack on Kent’s ailing Hyundai, having overtaken Kangas. Unfortunately, slight contact onto the left-rear quarter of Wilson’s Vauxhall Astra TCR caused him to slide off into the gravel trap under braking.

Turbo issues for Lewis Kent (right, orange Hyundai) led to some close battles between the cars around him. Credit: TCR UK

It wasn’t long before Kangas had finally overtaken Kent, while Jessica Backman and Derek Palmer Jnr also got the job done heading into Copse corner the next time around. Jessica Backman’s brother, Andreas, had become a bit of a dark horse at the front of the pack. Setting the fastest lap of the race, the young Swede had Ollie Taylor – and the podium positions – in his sights.

At a third of the race distance, most of the cars began to spread out, though Jessica Backman and Derek Palmer Jnr were still applying pressure onto Olli Kangas. Lewis Kent’s nightmare race also continued; this time he was caught and passed by Stewart Lines in the first of the DSG-equipped cars.

With 15 minutes to go, the technical gremlins which caused Derek Palmer Jnr to sit out qualifying showed up once again, and so the second of the Laser Tools Racing Alfa Romeos had no choice but to head into pit lane. The other Alfa of Aiden Moffat was still in 2nd place on the road, but the gap between himself and Dan Lloyd had grown significantly.

Andreas Backman showed impressive pace as he got behind the wheel of a touring car for the first time. Credit: TCR UK

In the mid-pack, the battle of the Honda Civics had begun. Driving the new FK8 generation Civic, Finlay Crocker was closing up to the back of Fuller’s older FK2 model. With seven minutes left on the clock, just two tenths of a second separated the pair of drivers. Meanwhile, at the back of the field, Carl Swift broke back into the top 10 after having passed Lewis Kent.

Fuller and Crocker continued to fight to the chequered flag, but it would effectively all be in vain. Due to exceeding track limits, Crocker and Swift were given 5 second time penalties. This didn’t impact Swift’s race as he’d managed to pull out a lead of over 5 seconds to Lewis Kent in 11th, while Crocker’s time penalty neutralised his battle with Howard Fuller.

The rest of the field’s order would remain in status quo, but then the stewards threw another curve ball. As the cars reached the chequered flag, news filtered through that Aiden Moffat had been handed a track limits time penalty too. Consequently, this would drop him down from 2nd place to 4th. Or at least it would have if the stewards hadn’t then sent out a new message, revealing that Moffat’s penalty had been withdrawn.

Dan Lloyd took victory in the first race of the 2018 TCR UK Series. Credit: TCR UK

Some confusion right at the end there, but one thing that could not be argued was that Dan Lloyd had produced a masterful display out in front. For the most part unchallenged, Lloyd would make history to become the first ever race winner in the TCR UK Series. In 9th place, Stewart Lines also took the inaugural honours within the DSG Trophy class.

Elated, Lloyd said: “It feels awesome, I’m really over the moon with that. It was a tough race, as it always is at this circuit, and it was a long one too. I did a good job at the start and got a gap and then just controlled the pace from there, as well as looking after the tyres because the degradation is big here.”

It was only a last minute deal to get out here this weekend in the WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi, we’re working really hard to try and come back for the rest of the season. The team have done a fantastic job, it’s my first weekend with them and I can’t fault them in any way whatsoever.”

Top 10 Standings:

[table id=2840 /]

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Juggling university essays with news and race reports from the World Touring Car Cup, TCR Europe and the TCR UK Series for
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