Lloyd gives Parker victory in Thruxton Carrera Cup

Team Parker Racing celebrated a sensational win from Daniel Lloyd as the highpoint of the latest Porsche Carrera Cup GB round at Thruxton. Young Yorkshireman Lloyd became the first Porsche Carrera Cup GB scholarship winner to take a race victory in his scholarship season after an extraordinary drive to victory from eighth on the grid. In an incredible opening half-lap, Lloyd went from eighth to second. Then he hunted down the race leader and took the advantage with just over two laps remaining, hanging on to the top spot in a dramatic end to the race. The tone was set for a dramatic weekend in qualifying, which took place in mixed conditions. Of Team Parker Racing’s three Yorkshire drivers in the pro class, Richard Plant fared best to go second fastest overall on wet-weather tyres. Meanwhile, Lloyd made a late switch to slicks to take fifth, while Sam Tordoff on wets ended up ninth. But on second-fastest times, which decided the grid for race two, Tordoff was best-placed in fifth. Plant was impressively quick at the start to take the lead in the wet opening race, but lost his front splitter early on, meaning “there was plenty of understeer after that.” As a result Plant gradually fell to fourth place, beating Lloyd – who also lost his front splitter in the early stages – by one place. Tordoff, meanwhile, kept going in the difficult conditions to claim 10th. Lloyd’s performance in race two came as rain fell – with the whole field on slick tyres. Once again he lost his front splitter, this time as he was forced tighter over the chicane kerbs while lapping a backmarker, but he held on. “This is awesome,” he said of his maiden Carrera Cup win. “On the green-flag lap I literally was spinning nearly everywhere, because I was trying to get as much heat into the tyres as possible. I had it lit on the first lap, and although I struggled and lost time when I lost the splitter, I managed to get it back. “I wanted to pass Rory Butcher for the lead in a safer place, but he got sideways at Goodwood and that meant I had to pass him into Church. He then got a better line and it was a case of who braked latest at the chicane. He started spinning and I had to run wide – I had nowhere else to go. Then Glynn Geddie was very quick and chasing me but I held on. It’s unbelievable – I’m over the moon!” Plant, meanwhile, won a hectic battle for eighth at the finish line – by a hundredth of a second! Tordoff pitted to wet-weather Michelins and proved that they would have been the right choice from the start, claiming the bonus point for fastest lap, four seconds clear of Lloyd’s best lap… The results mean that Lloyd leapfrogs his team-mates to take third in the championship, with Tordoff fifth and Plant sixth. Team principal Stuart Parker said: “Dan drove an absolute belter. To win the way he did, driving like that with no front splitter, I’m overjoyed for him and it will give him great confidence. “Unfortunately it was another weekend of giving silly little things away and letting the others claim the advantage, but it all came good in the end and hats off to Dan! “Richard’s loss of his splitter in race one was one of those examples of us making it easier for the opposition to take points from us, but he did a good job to hold on for a decent result. Sam was having a struggle and we should have called him in earlier for wets – he definitely learned a few lessons though. “But the end result was fantastic – Dan did an outstanding job.”PIERCE ON FORM AGAIN IN PRO-AM1 With Michael Leonard skipping Thruxton due to business commitments, Scotland’s Derek Pierce was the team’s only representative in the pro-am1 class at the Hampshire circuit in his JD Pierce with Team Parker car.Like Lloyd, Pierce went onto slicks in qualifying, but the call was slightly late, leaving him fourth in the class.In difficult conditions in the opening race, he did a solid job to retain fourth in pro-am1. In the second race Pierce got mixed up in incidents not of his own making early on. He then made a pitstop for wet tyres and went on to finish fifth in class.Team principal Stuart Parker said: “Qualifying didn’t go to plan for Derek and he had two hard races from being out of position. But well done to him for keeping it going in both races and taking valuable points.”As part of the ultra-popular British Touring Car Championship package, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB enjoyed live coverage from Thruxton on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, and was streamed live at itv.com/touringcars. The series now heads to Oulton Park in Cheshire on June 9/10.