Dan Lloyd was ‘very pleased with his pace’ in the opening TCR Europe race at Monza, having run as high as fifth before the Brutal Fish Racing driver failed to finish after picking up a puncture.
Lloyd was battling hard with Teddy Clairet early on in the race when he went wide at the second Lesmo corner, dropping him to eighth after having been challenging for fourth on the opening lap.
The Honda driver then fought his way back up to fifth, enjoying close side-by-side racing with the Audi of Gilles Magnus and the Hyundais of Mat’o Homola and Andreas Bäckman until two laps from the end.
Lloyd then picked up a puncture whilst running in seventh and had to retire from the race.
“It was a good, tough race for sure, one of the best all season,” said Lloyd to touringCars.Net of the action prior to his retirement. “I had a great start and got into fourth, which was mega.
“I then made a mistake at the second chicane on the first lap, which allowed a few cars to get up the inside of me.
“I fought back really well, I got myself up to fifth and I had good pace, but I could feel the tyre going quite early on before the puncture.
“It might have been contact from Homola, Andreas, the gravel, I don’t know. I got hit a couple of times, so it’s hard to pinpoint what it was.
“I fought back to fifth, the pace was good, and it was a shame it ended like that. It’s frustrating because I was in seventh at that point.”
After missing out on a points finish in race one, Lloyd is determined to fight for a podium in Sunday’s second race, where he will start from fifth on the grid.
“I think I’ve got the pace to really fight and go for a podium tomorrow. If it wasn’t for a couple of things that race could have been completely different. I’ll forget it and eyes on tomorrow.
“It’s nice to be up there. We did a really good job this morning after a tough day yesterday. I haven’t been here [at Monza] for years and we only got seven laps in yesterday. To qualify in P6 made me very, very happy and it means I’ve been in Q2 all year.”
Lloyd is already looking to next season and is hoping to remain in the TCR Europe series for another season with the Slovakian Brutal Fish team.
“The goal for next year is to do [TCR Europe] and I think we’ll be a very strong title contender. We’ve started talks but it’s just a case of waiting for things to fall into place to get a decision.
“Strong shows, pace and results are still important now. We’ve shown it for the last few rounds, so it would just be nice to have a strong end to the season.”