Another podium for Dan Lloyd signals strong end to British Touring Car Championship season for Power Maxed Racing
POWER Maxed Racing finished the British Touring Car Championship season on a high at Brands Hatch, with Dan Lloyd claiming his fourth podium from the last three rounds.
Going into qualifying, the Bidford-based team were confident that both drivers would find themselves well inside the top ten.
The session would see Lloyd put in a stellar drive, eventually bagging himself fifth on the grid for the first race on Sunday, whilst Jason Plato would struggle a little with traffic throughout.
Despite this, his best time would see him just half a second from pole, although with the grid as tight as it is this year, that was only good enough for 17th.
Sunday morning saw more dry, cool weather, giving the estimated 45,000-strong crowd the perfect conditions to watch a day of racing.
The first race of the day would see Lloyd make a great start, making up a place in the first few laps, holding that position until the close before crossing the line fourth.
Plato would have less luck in the other Astra, battling hard throughout, dropping to 21st early on before eventually finding his way back up to 19th.
Race two would see Lloyd put on another fantastic display for both the fans and the team itself, despite carrying 48kg of success ballast thanks to his strong finish in race one.
He would find himself second on lap one, chasing down the lead Honda of former PMR-driver Josh Cook, edging closer lap by lap as he looked to challenge for the lead.
Unfortunately a safety car on lap 13 meant any gap he’d built to those behind him was scrubbed out, and giving Cook the opportunity to pull away on the restart. He would hold position though, crossing the line to take his fourth podium of the last three rounds.
Following his disappointment in race one, Plato opted for the team to change his engine before race two.
With such a short turnaround time, the team were unable to complete the job before the pit lane opened, meaning the former double champion would start the race almost a lap down.
Following a necessary pit-stop to cross the tyres on the car, it looked like the race was a lost cause for the 97-time race winner, but he managed to fight his way back, eventually crossing the line a hugely impressive 18th.
With race three being the final event of the season, and the championship winner having been decided at the end of race two, it was set to be an interesting session for every competitor.
Following the reverse grid draw, Lloyd would be starting eighth with a massive 66kg of success ballast on board.
He would hold his own for the first couple of laps, until the lighter cars around him managed to get the better of him, pushing him down the standings a handful of spots.
Meanwhile, a determined Plato was firmly on the assault, gaining five places in three laps, before passing team-mate Lloyd on lap 11 for tenth.
The penultimate lap would see him tussle with the Toyota of Rory Butcher, before conceding the place and settling for tenth at the close, eight places up on his starting position, and a massive 18 on race two’s hampered start.
Lloyd would finish 13th, grabbing a handful of last-minute points for the team.
Lloyd left seventh in the independent driver standings, with Plato tenth. The team finished fifth in the independent standings, and a whopping 106 points clear of their nearest competitor in the overall standings.
“It was a really, really great to end the year with such a solid weekend,” said Lloyd. “Qualifying was great and I managed to make up a position in race one, so I’m really happy with that.
“Race two was just about damage limitation initially, but the team made some great changes to the car, and after securing second on the first lap, I was determined to get up front.
“I think that had the safety car not come out when it did, we would’ve had a shot at the win, but to go forward with 48kg on the car is a great achievement for us.”
Plato said: “Obviously things didn’t go quite as well as I would’ve hoped, but considering how we started race two, I’m pretty happy with where we ended up at the close of play.
“I would’ve liked to have been up at the sharp end like we were back in 2019, but it just wasn’t to be. Dan drove an absolute blinder and it was great to see him up front challenging for the win in race two. I wish it had been a more positive end to the year, but we finished all three races and grabbed some points, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Team principal Adam Weaver added; “Yet again we’re over the moon with Dan’s performance. The tension in the garage during race two was mad, as we genuinely thought he could land the win, which would’ve been an amazing end to the year for all of us, but it was great to see him grab another podium.
“Jason making up 18-plus places across the final two races was great to see as well, it’s just a shame he couldn’t have done that from further up the grid. All in all, a good solid end to the year.”