Reigning TCR UK champion Dan Lloyd believes he is “in with a shout” of success at the Red Bull Ring after he topped both TCR Europe practice sessions in his Honda Civic Type R FK7.
The Brutal Fish Racing Team driver set the fastest time of the day when he topped opening practice with his tour of 1:36.755, before being the only runner to dip into the ’36s in the second session.
He told TouringCars.Net it felt “mega” to head the TCR Europe field even if it was “only practice,” and feels confident there is more pace to come from him and the car.
“It’s mega. It’s the first time I’ve been P1 in TCR Europe, even though it’s only practice, which is nice,” said Lloyd.
“To do it in both sessions I think shows that we’re definitely in with a shout this weekend.
“Sometimes it’s not very nice being P1 before qualifying because there’s only one way to go other than if you stay the same! But I know there’s still room for improvement myself.
“I feel quite confident and in a good place at the minute, it’s really good.”
The last time Lloyd raced at the Spielberg circuit was ten years ago in the Volkswagen Sirocco R-Cup, and believes he will further improve as he re-familiarises himself with the track.
“I’ve not been here for 10 years, which is why I’ve still got some places to improve. The car is very good here – we were strong at Spa but we had the issue in qualifying – where we basically were third but it didn’t count for the right reasons,” explained Lloyd.
“But the pace was there at a circuit where the Honda really isn’t notoriously known for being strong, so we’ve come to this circuit which suits us a bit more, and I think it shows our strength.
“The guys have done a really good job today, we changed quite a bit to the car. But it shows we’re in a really good place.”
With such a short lap at the Red Bull Ring, Lloyd says the lack of technicality actually makes it very difficult to be competitive as the margins are so fine.
“It’s not the most technical circuit in the world but in a way that makes things harder because it’s so close,” he said.
“You’ve seen from the times today, if you don’t put the lap in at the right time you’re going to be way back.
“In a way it makes it even more difficult. We’re working hard tonight on the video and the data and get some coffee in the morning as it’s an early start!”