Brutal Fish Racing Team’s Dan Lloyd was ecstatic after claiming victory – his second of the season – in the final TCR Europe contest at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Starting from reverse-grid pole position, the reigning TCR UK champion made a level start with Gilles Magnus’ Audi alongside and held the advantage thereafter.
Lloyd was given no respite, however, with Magnus on the gearbox of his Honda Civic Type R FK7 throughout the contest.
The gap ebbed and flowed between three and eight tenths of a second; Magnus often pegged back Lloyd through the first sector, only to lose ground over the rest of the 2.89-mile lap.
Speaking to TouringCars.net in Barcelona, Lloyd admitted it had been a tough exercise in defensive driving to hold on to the win, his second in consecutive meetings after inheriting the race one win last time out at Oschersleben.
“I’m over the moon,” said Lloyd.
“A very, very tough race; we were so weak in our straight line speed and with the Audi in the slipstream I had the fastest car on the grid behind me.
“I had to push so hard every lap just to get a gap, it was tough. I nailed the restart, that was fantastic.
“I made a couple of mistakes in the race, so I had to push so hard to get the gap I needed. But defended really well, so I’m over the moon.
“It feels like my ‘proper’ first win, with what happened at Oschersleben, it’s quite emotional and I’m just thankful for all the guys at the Brutal Fish Racing Team for the opportunity, especially to Martin Ryba for everything. Really, really happy…”
He admitted it had been a difficult balancing act between using what speed his Honda had to fend off Magnus and preserving the tyre life, conscious the car behind was running far lighter.
“There were two things on my mind,” he explained.
“I knew I needed to push really hard to get the gap I needed on the straights, but at the same time we’re around 100 kilos heavier than them, so I thought we were going to die with tyres at the end.
“It was a real tough balance. [The safety car] definitely helped, throughout the race if you’re leading you just want to be backing off if you have a gap, but when [they’ve] got such an over speed on you on the straights, it just makes things really tough.”
The TCR Europe season concludes at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on 12-13 October.