Huddersfield’s Daniel Lloyd came within less than a lap of securing his second win of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship season at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 13th October, but second place in the final race of the campaign still boosted his podium tally into double figures.
In atrocious conditions, with persistent rain falling throughout raceday, the Team Parker Racing driver was by far one of the quickest drivers on track at any one time and he proved the point by impressively posting the fastest lap in both encounters.
Round 20 was the clear highlight and after making an excellent start from the second row of the grid, the 21-year-old Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholar surged into the lead on the run to Paddock Hill Bend before opening up a significant margin over the chasing pack.
Establishing a lead of two seconds by lap three, his hard work was undone when the Safety Car had to be deployed. At the re-start on lap six, though, Daniel again pulled away and gradually increased his margin to 1.5 seconds as the race entered its closing stages.
Into the final couple of laps, the chasing Dean Stoneman visibly had better grip from his Michelin tyres and into the final tour he was in a position to attack. Defending a move into Paddock Hill Bend, Daniel was then on the outside line into Druids and as he turned in for the tight right-hander, there was contact as Stoneman stuck the nose of his Porsche up the inside – tipping Daniel into a spin.
Thankfully able to recover in second place, Daniel rued the lost victory but the result still marked his 10th podium of the season and helped him to secure fourth place in the championship standings in his final year as the Scholar.
“I thought I had it”, he commented, “I had to defend into Paddock and then, into Druids, I wasn’t sure if he [Stoneman] was alongside. The next thing I knew, I got tapped round. It’s a real shame as it would have been so nice to end the year with another win, but it’s still been a great season.”
In the opening race on Sunday morning, for which he also lined-up third on the grid, Daniel made a decent getaway and although challenged by both Jonas Gelzinis and Stoneman at Paddock he held position up to Druids.
Edged back to fourth on lap two at the first corner, Daniel’s race then took a dramatic turn when he was caught-out on standing water at Graham Hill Bend. Rotating off the circuit onto the wet grass on the exit, he recovered to the track down in seventh position but mounted a sublime recovery to claw his way back into near podium contention.
Providing a masterclass in wet-weather driving thereafter, he sliced his way back into the top four by the start of lap eight and began to reel in Michael Meadows. With the gap standing at more than 11 seconds on lap nine, by the 16th and final tour he was within less than three seconds of the eventual champion after a remarkable fightback. At the flag, Daniel was just 1.7 seconds shy of the podium.
“We had mega pace in the first race and the spin there was a real shame, I was able to come back through really strongly though so we knew we’d be quick for race two”, commented Daniel, “I got a mega start to the second race, I was really happy with my performance as I didn’t put a wheel wrong so it’s disappointing to lose out on the last lap like that.
“Overall, it’s been a great year and I just want to say a massive thank you to Porsche GB, to Stuart, Mark and Martin at Team Parker and to all of my amazing sponsors who made the season possible. I also want to send my best regards to David at Silver Bay Point, I hope he gets better soon.”
With the season now complete, Daniel’s attention turns to the shoot-out and assessment for the Porsche International Scholarship – the winner of which will receive 200,000 Euros towards their graduation into the FIA Formula One World Championship-supporting Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
Final 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship Standings
4th Daniel Lloyd, 249pts