Devastated Lloyd's Spa 24 Hour Dream Over Before It Starts‏

Beechdean Aston Martin Racing driver Daniel Lloyd saw his hopes of a showcase performance on his Total 24 Hours of Spa debut dashed before even getting behind the wheel – a huge accident just a few hours into the contest for team principal Andrew Howard on Saturday, 26th July, destroying the No.107 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.Thankfully, Howard emerged from the multi-car incident at the top of Eau Rouge uninjured but the Aston sustained massive damage after making contact at full racing speed with a Ferrari which had, seconds before, had its own accident just over the blind crest. Unsighted, and with no time to react, the Beechdean boss was powerless to prevent the monumental impact.“Are we ever going to get some luck?”, said Huddersfield-based Daniel, “Everything building up to the race went really well, and the start of the race was good for us. Stefan [Mücke] had two good stints, then Andrew got in the car when the Safety Car was out before we had a load more Safety Cars as there were a lot of incidents.“When the Ferrari lost it at the top of Eau Rouge, the two cars immediately behind were able to react but Andrew was completely blind as he went over the crest and the car rolled back across the racing line – it was a massive impact but, thankfully, Andrew was OK.”He added: “I’m absolutely devastated I didn’t get a lap in the car in the race, this was the highlight of the year for me and it’s a huge disappointment. The main thing, though, is that Andrew wasn’t injured as it was a frightening accident – we’re all really glad he was able to walk away OK.”The build-up for Daniel’s first ever twice-round-the-clock event started on Wednesday, 23rd July, with lots of promotional activity along with team-mates Howard, Stefan Mücke and Jonny Adam and the rest of the Blancpain Endurance Series paddock.After a series of highly competitive performances in the pre-qualifying and official qualifying sessions, the Beechdean quartet impressed by progressing through to ‘Super Pole’ on Friday afternoon which determined the first 10 rows of the grid for the race.With Mücke taking the wheel of the No.107 Aston Martin for the all-important session, the German racer posted a best lap of 2m19.491 seconds to secure the 10th fastest time and a place on row five of the Total 24 Hours of Spa grid. Lapping just 0.7 seconds shy of pole position, and only 0.5 seconds shy of the top three, the Beechdean car was also the only Aston to make it through to the shoot-out.The first few hours of the race were nothing short of chaotic and incident packed with a variety of collisions and spins. Unfortunately, the Beechdean Aston was added to the list of retirements on its 52nd lap when Howard was unable to avoid the aforementioned stricken Ferrari at Raidillon.As well as causing significant damage to the left-hand side of the No.107 machine, the severity of the hit sparked a major fire but Howard was thankfully able to emerge safely. After being transported to hospital for cautionary checks, he was soon discharged without any injuries.While incredibly disappointed with the way the weekend ultimately turned out, Daniel takes many positives away from his first experience of the Total 24 Hours of Spa and is determined to return next year.“I’ve learnt absolutely loads this weekend, I did a good job and was really on it once I learned the track and got my head around everything”, said the MSA Academy driver, “In the end, I only had about 15 laps in the car all weekend but I was on the pace. I’m just gutted I didn’t get the opportunity to showcase myself in the race to the guys in the garage and everyone at Aston Martin.”Daniel now has a four week break from active competition before he returns to his regular seat in the Blancpain Sprint Series for round four of its season, over the weekend 23rd/24th August, at the Slovakia Ring in Slovakia.