Brutal Fish Racing Team’s Dan Lloyd expects a mixture of manufacturers to be fighting at the sharp end in this weekend’s TCR Europe double-header at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The VAG Group cars looked particularly strong in the opening practice session around the 2.89-mile Catalan circuit earlier this afternoon; Gilles Magnus and Santiago Urrutia’s Audi’s set the pace ahead of Gianni Morbidelli’s Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Lloyd was fourth fastest in the Honda Civic Type R FK7, 0.405 seconds adrift of the benchmark time.
Statistically, the Hyundai i30 N TCR has the most race victories in the category this season with four – two for points leader Josh Files and one apiece for Luca Englster and Mat’o Homola.
Lloyd pointed to this track record and believes this weekend will bring a range of other models back into the fight at the front.
The reigning TCR UK champion also underlined his aim of ending the season on the front foot ahead of a possible title assault in 2020, having taken his maiden win in TCR Europe last time out at Oschersleben.
“It should be interesting. I think it’ll be a good weekend, a lot of cars are in the mix and before it’s been dominated by Hyundais, so it should be quite fun this weekend,” said Lloyd.
“I’ve had mega pace for the last three or four rounds, I’ve been a bit unlucky in some areas so we haven’t been able to translate that into results. We did that at the last round, hopefully we can do the same again.
“I just want a really nice, strong end to the season, it’d be really nice to come back here next year and have a proper shot at the championship and do a full season. Everywhere we go now, we’re really, really strong, so it’d be nice to end the season strongly.”
Reflecting on the session, Lloyd believes the team have made a solid start to the weekend, but expects tough competition from the Audi’s.
He was also unfazed by weather reports of heavy rain and thunderstorms at the circuit tomorrow, with a solid record in wet-weather conditions to fall back on.
“It’s been a really strong start to the weekend,” he explained.
“I’ve never driven around here before, we were fourth in first practice with some nice, fresh tyres on, but not new.
“It looks really solid, there are some places I need to improve, the car’s carrying 40 kilos of weight which is a decent amount and there are some really light cars here, the Audi is on zero so it should be a tough weekend.
“To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I drove in the wet, it’s been one of those years, it’s been dry everywhere. I’ve always been good in the wet, we’ll see, as it’s gone through the week it’s changed so it may end up being dry, who knows?”
The second practice session gets underway at 18:05 CEST.