Clio Cup Becomes Lloyds Destination

Teenage motor racing star Daniel Lloyd has announced a change of plan for 2009 having signed a deal with Team Pyro to contest next year’s ELF Renault Clio Cup which runs alongside the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.Confirming the agreement during the build-up to the final two rounds of his debut car racing season in the Ginetta Junior Championship, the Huddersfield racer cannot wait to take his maiden test miles at the wheel of a Clio as he bids to hit the ground running when the championship begins next April.Approximately two months ago Daniel did declare his intention to graduate to the Ginetta G50 series next year but an established sponsor would only agree to continue to be involved with Daniel’s career if they could see the West Yorkshire star in a Clio Cup car in 2009.Team Pyro, Mark Hunt’s Leicestershire-based squad which has this year taken Ben Winrow to a dominant title victory in the Clio Cup, is planning to field a four car entry in the 2009 championship and Daniel’s graduation to the series with Pyro marks a major step forward for the 16-year-old.Speaking on the deal, Daniel commented: “I’m sad to be leaving the Ginetta family but at the same time absolutely delighted to be racing in Clio Cup next year. It’s a fantastic championship and with Team Pyro I’m 100 per cent happy we’ll have the best chance of doing well in our first season. I’m really looking forward to my first run in a Clio. Mark (Hunt) runs a terrific team, I can’t wait to start testing.“Obviously, we did announce our intention to race in the 2009 Ginetta G50 series a few months ago but since then our discussions with sponsors have necessitated this change of direction. At the end of the day, our sponsors were adamant they wanted me in a Clio next year and they agreed Team Pyro was the best place to be.”ELF Renault Clio Cup is undoubtedly one of the most popular categories in the UK with both competitors and spectators alike and has a proven track record of producing future touring car racers and potential saloon car championships. In recent years, numerous drivers have gone on to carve out stellar careers in touring cars and sportscar racing. Perhaps most notably, former Clio Cup racer Robert Huff graduated to the BTCC before attaining a works drive in the World Touring Car Championship, while Tom Onslow-Cole went from winning the Clio Cup title in 2006 to a drive with Team RAC in the BTCC. This year, of course, Onslow-Cole has been racing a works Vauxhall Vectra for VX Racing.Clearly, Daniel is on a career path which could see him become established as one of the country’s top young saloon car racers and with the experience of a championship winning Clio Cup team behind him for his first season in the renowned category, the youngster has an outstanding opportunity ahead of him.Relishing the prospect of working with Daniel in 2009, Team Pyro boss Mark Hunt added: “We’ve been looking at Daniel all year to be honest and when the opportunity to run him next year came about, we jumped at the chance. We have a two year plan in mind for Daniel with the aim of winning the Clio title with him in the second year. “We’re confident he’ll do a great job and the addition of a talented young driver like Daniel to the Team Pyro line-up can only be good for us. His pedigree from karting is fantastic and the potential he’s shown in Ginetta Junior this season has been terrific. We’re certainly aiming high and very much looking forward to working with him.”