Daniel LloydTotal Control Racing’s Daniel Lloyd secured his third top six finish of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup season at Silverstone National Circuit in Northamptonshire this afternoon, Saturday, 29th August, to move back into ninth position in the championship standings following an excellent drive.

The 17-year-old, from Scammonden in West Yorkshire, displayed outstanding pace from the minute pre-race testing began on Friday and during this morning’s all-important qualifying session he was the highest placed TCR driver with a season-best fifth fastest time of 1m05.285 seconds (90.37mph), just two 10ths of a second shy of pole position.

At the start of round 15, Daniel initially got away from the third row of the grid well and looked all set to move into the top four before he received a tap to the rear of his Clio which pitched the car sideways and lost him several places. Managing to get the car pointing in the right direction nicely, he climbed back into the top six but on lap two Daniel was pushed wide at Maggotts and slipped to ninth.

Determined to get back into the top six, the TCR ace set about his recovery drive brilliantly and on lap four he posted the third quickest time of 1m05.653 seconds – faster than the best managed by either eventual race winner Dave Newsham or championship points leader Philip Glew – as he moved into eighth position.

After battling hard with Jake Packun and James Colburn during the mid part of the race, the trio trading positions more than once, Daniel emerged ahead on lap 12 and proceeded to close down fifth placed Lee Pattison. Between lap 14 and lap 17, Daniel closed the gap to Pattison from 1.2 seconds to just two 10ths of a second and just missed out on gaining another place before the finish.

Speaking after the opening race of the weekend, Daniel said: “On the first lap I got a tap from behind as we went through Becketts and Maggotts, the car was sideways but I managed to get it back in a straight line although we did lose a few places. Then I got pushed wide at the same place on the second lap so it made the first half of the race very hard work.

“Obviously a top six is a good result but it is a bit disappointing considering the pace we had, we easily had the speed to be on the podium for the first time. The car felt good and it was consistently fast all the way through the race, without the problems on the first couple of laps we’d have been able to challenge closer to the front. That’s what we intend to do tomorrow, we know we have the pace.”

With team-mate Sam Tordoff and experienced competitor Carl Bradley both failing to finish today’s encounter, Daniel has closed to within 11 points of the championship top eight and has pulled seven points clear of Bradley.

Round 16 of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup will take place at Silverstone National Circuit tomorrow, Sunday, 30th August, at approximately 12.00 and will be screened live on digital satellite, cable and Freeview channel ITV4. Daniel will start the race from sixth on the grid thanks to his second best qualifying time from today of 1m05.447 seconds.

2009 Provisional ELF Renault Clio Cup Standings (after Rd15):
1st Philip Glew, 430pts; 2nd Alex MacDowall, 351pts; 9th Daniel Lloyd, 175pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.