Daniel Lloyd will make an unexpected debut in the world-renowned Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in the USA this coming Saturday, 4th October, after finalising a late deal with Muehlner Motorsports America to pilot one of the squad’s Porsche 911 GT-America cars in the GT Daytona class.
Only agreeing the deal last night, Sunday, 28th September, the Huddersfield driver will fly out to the States tomorrow morning and then embark on a whirlwind few days of getting to know the Florida based team before then taking his first mileage at Road Atlanta in Georgia on Thursday, 2nd October.
Petit Le Mans is precisely as it says on the tin – a sportscar endurance race featuring a variety of classes for prototypes and GT cars, contested over 10 hours and run to the rules established for the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours.
Forming part of the final round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship as well, the biggest sportscar category in North America since Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series merged, this weekend’s race is set to feature an entry of almost 60 cars.
“We only did the deal last night [Sunday] and I fly out there tomorrow morning, so it’s all pretty last minute but incredibly exciting – I can’t wait”, said 22-year-old Daniel, “The Porsche I’ll be racing is similar to the Carrera Cup car I drove in the International [Porsche Carrera Cup] Scholarship a couple of years ago, but with a few upgrades with the aero and engine.
“I don’t know who my team-mates are going to be yet, but the main aim is to go out there and try and showcase what I can do. This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of one of the really big races and to, hopefully, get my name out there with a few people in America. The race is just before the Daytona 24 Hours, so it’s perfect timing for me to try and get my foot in the door over there.”
Daniel, who has raced in the Blancpain Endurance Series, Blancpain Sprint Series and the Menzo 24 Hours of Zolder this year in his maiden season of international sportscar competition, is no stranger to racing in America having contested a part-season in the Skip Barber National Championship back in 2010.
This weekend’s action, however, will be an entirely new challenge for the West Yorkshireman but he is aiming to make a big impression as he returns to Porsche power for the first time since the end of his second season in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship last year.
“Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to do this without my fantastic sponsors and I want to thank them for making this opportunity possible”, added Daniel, “It’s going to be a big challenge but the experience I’ve had in the two Blancpain Endurance Series races I did this year should stand me in good stead.”
Following pre-event practice at Road Atlanta on Thursday, 2nd October, qualifying for the 2014 Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda will take place on Friday, 3rd October, with the big race itself getting underway at 11.15 (local time) on Saturday, 4th October. Live television coverage in the UK will begin at 16.00 on Motors TV.