LLOYD WINS TCR UK RACE 1 AT CASTLE COMBE AMID CONTROVERSY
**Subsequently after this press release was published, the result between the top two cars was reversed by the stewards following the last lap contact, which gave Ollie Taylor his first TCR UK victory with Dan Lloyd being handed a 1 second penalty which demoted him to 2nd.**
WestCoast Racing’s Dan Lloyd continued his run of victories in the 2018 TCR UK Series with a recovery drive at Castle Combe, fighting back to take the win after contact with Ollie Taylor’s Honda Civic on the final lap.
Standings leader Lloyd made a poor start and dropped back on the opening lap, but survived drama at Quarry Corner as Jessica Bäckman and a fast-starting Finlay Crocker made contact. Crocker’s Verizon Connect Racing’s Honda went across the grass and hit Stewart Lines (Maximum Motorsport), forcing the latter to retire with radiator damage.
The safety car was then deployed, and Lloyd began to progress once the race got back underway, passing Lewis Kent (Essex & Kent Motorsport) on the start/finish straight after forcing him into an error through Camp Corner. He then made his way past WestCoast Racing stable-mate Andreas Bäckman – who eventually completed the podium – before setting his sights on polesitter Taylor.
He steadily reduced the gap before making a last-gasp move into Quarry Corner, hitting the side of Taylor’s Honda Civic Type R FK7 before completing the overtake at The Esses. Taylor attempted to fight back but was forced to settle for second, ahead of Andreas Bäckman and Kent, who tried to challenge the Swedish racer in the middle phase of the race.
The top five was rounded out by Carl Swift’s CUPRA, who had breathing space at the line after a tense battle with Derek Palmer’s Alfa Romeo, which slowed on circuit after challenging Swift and pitted with a few laps remaining. That DNF continued DPE Motorsport’s woes as Palmer’s teammate Robert Gilmour did not contest the opening race due to an ongoing ECU problem.
Another non-starter was Darelle Wilson in his Vauxhall Astra, who sustained damage in qualifying yesterday, and could not find a replacement steering rack to enable him to race today.
Dan Lloyd (1st) said: “That was really hard work that one, obviously a late lunge. For me it was fair he left a gap. I had my car up the inside. It’s what happens in Touring Cars you can’t leave a tiny gap. But yeah, that was hard work – I’m kicking myself for the mistakes I made at the start. But I’m glad I clawed it back.
“This weekend we’ve got full success ballast – 60 kilos – at Brands Hatch some of the other cars like Ollie [Taylor] were carrying weight. This weekend they’ve got nothing. So it affects the overall pace but especially over a race run. Tyres just go, brakes go, especially in dirty air my brakes were going near the end.
“It was really tough, we were just nipping away, Ollie was quick it was just a little bit on every lap. The main place I was quick was at the end of the straight, catching on the brakes. But it was so tough, so tough. It’s a really demanding circuit, it needs full respect round here because you’re always close to going off.
Ollie Taylor (2nd) said: “It was a good race, it was a long race. Even though we had the safety car at the start, which obviously took away quite a bit of the distance. I thought this could play into our hands a little bit as it’s a bit more of a sprint race with 20 minutes left to go.
“Hopefully Finlay [Crocker] is OK. But I just kept my head down. And I thought that was going to be the one as well really. You see the last lap board and yeah. What happened – it’s not supposed to be a contact sport – there’s a little bit of nudging and a little bit of budging but when you literally barge someone out to take the lead on the last lap. I don’t really think it’s on to be honest.
“We’ll look into it, I’m sure they’ve got their side of the argument, we’ve certainly got our side. We’ve had the pace all weekend and we were looking but there we go.”
Andreas Bäckman (3rd) said: “After Dan [Lloyd] overtook me I think I was stressing the tyres a bit too hard so I had to back off. And then I think I found a good pace. I knew Dan was going to be quicker because he has been quicker than me all weekend and I tried my best to keep him behind but there was no point blocking or anything because both of us wanted to go forward.
“In the middle of the race he [Lewis Kent] was catching me a bit but then in the end I found some more pace but definitely he was quicker than me in the beginning of the race.”
The reverse-grid Race 2 is set to get underway at 15:45 BST, with live streaming available via the TCR UK website and on its social media platforms.