Daniel Lloyd produced undoubtedly his best performance of the year at Hockenheim in Germany to win the final round of the 2011 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup – the British racer’s second victory of the season.
In an action-packed encounter, in which the lead of the race changed hands on numerous occasions and the top three or four were rarely covered by much more than a couple of seconds, the 19-year-old delivered a fantastically determined drive.
Seeing off the challenge of recently crowned champion Mateusz Lisowski, Dennis Trebing and Ola Nilsson, the Scammonden ace managed to pull out a gap of half a second over the final couple of laps to take a famous win, his fourth podium of 2011. With regard to the final championship classification, Lloyd concluded his first season of European competition in an excellent third position.
Onto the final lap, the VW Scirocco rookie was well placed to claim the coveted Vice-Champion’s spot with Nilsson down in fourth place but the Swede was able to come through to third before the finish, denying the West Yorkshireman the runner-up placing by a mere four points.
“That was the best race I’ve ever had”, said Lloyd, “To beat the champion at the last round is just perfect, I prefer to have won the race and finished third in the championship than finish second in the race and take second in the points. The race win was much more important to me. It would have been great to end the season second in the championship, don’t get me wrong, but this win is mega.
“We came into the weekend hoping to end the year on a high and we’ve done that, I’m over the moon and so grateful to everyone who has made this season possible. It’s been a great year with some absolutely amazing racing.”
Lloyd started the weekend with the sixth fastest time of 1m57.379 seconds before improving by a full second in qualifying to secure a place on the front row of the grid with a lap of 1m56.386 seconds.
Lining up for round 10 in second position alongside Lisowski, the Briton made a good start to latch on to the tail of the champion’s car and immediately began to pressure the Pole. Trying for a cut-back at the hairpin on laps two and three, Lloyd wasn’t quite able to get alongside Lisowski but into the Turn Six left-hander he used one of his ‘push to pass’ boosts to great effect to move into the lead.
With the top four drivers so evenly matched, breaking away wasn’t a possibility and Lloyd had to defend from Lisowski who attempted to distract him on lap five by repeatedly flashing his headlights on the run to the hairpin. Remaining calm and unruffled, Lloyd repelled the Polish racer’s attack but a minor lock-up on the subsequent tour enabled Lisowski to move ahead – and almost Nilsson too.
Hitting back almost instantly, Lloyd moved back into the lead with a great late pass into Turn Six to underline his determination to visit the top step of the podium once again. On lap seven, Lisowski edged past at Turn Five, having benefited from good drive out of the hairpin, but once more Lloyd refused to be beaten and stuck with his rival around the outside of the turn before retaking the lead.
However, with the gloves off between the two season-long rivals, their slight delay exiting Turn Six enabled Trebing to leap ahead of both. Lloyd held on to second ahead of Lisowski though and then usurped Trebing for the lead at the hairpin on the eighth tour.
From there he managed to control the race at the front over the final couple of laps to take a richly deserved and very hard-fought win, brilliantly capping off a fantastic season and proving his obvious title challenging credentials should he return to the VW Scirocco R-Cup in 2012.