During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for the Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…
This weekend is the finale of the 2019 season for TCR China, where the series will race at the brand new facility of Zhouzhou International Circuit that has been completed only a few weeks ago. After a difficult weekend last time out at Ningbo, Lloyd is still in the hunt for the driver’s title, however he has a slim chance against title rival and championship leader Huang Chu Han.
Lloyd reflects on Ningbo…
Daniel Lloyd reflected back on what was an important weekend which offered some hope of reclaiming the Championship lead on Saturday, before events on Sunday changed the outlook of that task.
“A really unfortunate end to what started as a positive weekend. We did a great job in free practice and qualifying and were on the pace all weekend with the aim for Ningbo to close the gap to the championship leaders, and it was almost job done in race one,” explained Lloyd.
“Securing the podium brought us back to just three points off the lead. So to be taken out of race two with another podium on the cards was gutting. I was in a really good position, battling with Engstler and then my team-mate, who was leading the race, lost it on the first corner and collected me. There was nothing I could have done.”
The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain the difficulty of trying to secure 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.
“That incident has sadly put our championship hopes pretty much out of reach. We’re twenty points behind now, which is a full race win. There are just two races to go which means something would have to happen to the leaders now for us to be within grasp of claiming the title,” said Lloyd.
“There’s still hope, but it’s a long shot now. The team did a great job this weekend. It’s just really unfortunate how it’s all worked out.”
Lloyds thoughts ahead of the Zhouzhou Finale…
The 27-year-old arrives at this weekend in mathematical championship contention, sitting twenty points shy of the lead.
With four podiums under his belt already this season, Lloyd knows that the title race lies in the hands of his opponent this weekend, however, the Yorkshireman is determined to sign-off his debut TCR China season on a high note.
The Dongfeng MacPro Racing Team driver also carries the hopes of the squad’s title hopes this weekend. Currently second in the standings, the three-car outfit has a 36-point deficit to close in order to claim the Teams title honours in the season finale.
“We’ve had a really good season and been in championship contention all year;” said Lloyd. “The final race at Ningbo dropped us back just that bit too far, unfortunately. Although on paper we could still claim the title, it’s really out of our hands now and down to the leader to lose,” explained Lloyd.
“There’s still a small chance, but it’s a long shot now. We’ve just got to go out there and give it our best shot this weekend. I really hope that we can at least clinch the Teams title. The Dongfeng Racing crew have been brilliant all year. It would be a fitting reward for all of their hard work this season. I’ve really enjoyed my time racing with the team and in the TCR China series. Fingers crossed, we can go out in glory!”
TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes to secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.
I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.
Until next time, all the best!