TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd rounds off TCR China campaign in style

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Daniel’s performance at Zhouzhou International Circuit in China, location for the Finale of the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Race One at Zhouzhou…

Credit: TCR China

Luca Engstler carried on his top form from Ningbo as he won the first race of the series’ finale at Zhouzhou International Circuit. After he dominated the previous event with pole position and two race victories, the young German was again the fastest in Qualifying and converted the pole position into his third consecutive win.

Daniel Lloyd was classified second and cut six points off Huang Chu Han’s leading margin in the standings. However, Huang – who finished fifth in the first race – still had an advantage of fourteen points with twenty on offer in the last race of the year.

On a damp track, Engstler took the lead from the start ahead of the MacPro trio of Martin Xie, Lloyd, André Couto, Zhang Zhen Dong’s MG and Huang. Lloyd overtook Xie on lap 3 and tried to close the gap to Engstler, but the Hyundai driver managed to keep his advantage stable around three seconds.

In lap 5, Couto passed Xie for P3 and Huang overtook Zheng for P5. For a few laps the MG driver kept on chasing Huang’s Audi, but in the second part of the race, his pace faded and eventually, he pitted on the penultimate lap. Engstler won from Lloyd, Couto, Xie, Huang and Kenneth Look.

Race Two at Zhouzhou

Credit: TCR China

Daniel Lloyd won a very wet second race in TCR China’s finale at Zhouzhou International Circuit.

However, this was not enough for the young Englishman to clinch the title, because his rival Huang Chu Han recovered after a spin to finish the race in sixth position and so retained a four-point lead in the final standings.

At the start, André Couto took the lead from Lloyd and Martin Xie, but after a few turns, he spun and dropped to fourth behind Engstler. During the first lap, Couto tried to regain third position but t-boned Engstler’s car that spun and rejoined in fifth position, while Couto’s remained stranded in the middle of the track and the safety car was deployed.

When racing resumed, Lloyd increased his lead, while Xie defended the second place from Huang, Look and Engstler. In lap 8, Engstler overtook Look for P4, while Huang spun, dropping from third to eighth.

After a brief fight, Engstler passed Xie to move into P2 and then tried to close the gap to Lloyd, but the latter had already built a huge margin, while Xie and Look continued cruising in third and fourth positions.

During the final laps, Huang was able to pass both Alex Liu and James Wong to finish sixth behind the MG of Zhang Zhen Dong, and so he secured the TCR China title.

Lloyd reflects on Zhouzhou & his TCR China season

Credit: TCR China

With the Zhouzhou International Circuit the location for the finale of the TCR China season, Lloyd did everything in his power to take the fight to title rival and eventual champion Huang Chu Han.

It can be argued that Lloyd has been the dominant force in the series this year, however, retirements and disqualifications put paid to his hopes of a second TCR title. Despite this, Lloyd reflected back on his season in TCR China, where he put on some very strong performances.

“It was a really good weekend to end the season on. We knew coming into the weekend that the championship was just that bit out of reach, but we gave it our all, and we came so very close, explained Lloyd.

“It was a real shame to miss out on the title. Unfortunately, with only 10 rounds in the series, the two non-finishes we picked up earlier in the season killed our chances. Without those two incidents, we would have won the championship by a country mile. It’s frustrating as there was nothing I could have done differently to change them, but that’s motorsport.”

Lloyd added further to his thoughts regarding the weekend and his season in TCR China.

“The car was strong all weekend, as it has been all season. The JAS Motorsport guys have given us the tools to do a great job this season, and it’s been a brilliant experience racing with the Dongfeng Honda crew.”

“They are a great bunch and have worked really hard all year. I’m delighted to have been able to help them claim the Manufacturers title. They really deserve all of the glory. It’s been a strong end to a great season for me. I’m excited to see what 2020 brings.”

Credit: TCR China

TCR Talk sends its thanks to Daniel Lloyd for being able to report on his season in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship and we look forward to his plans for 2020 being revealed.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd ready for title showdown at Zhouzhou

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for the Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

This weekend is the finale of the 2019 season for TCR China, where the series will race at the brand new facility of Zhouzhou International Circuit that has been completed only a few weeks ago. After a difficult weekend last time out at Ningbo, Lloyd is still in the hunt for the driver’s title, however he has a slim chance against title rival and championship leader Huang Chu Han.

Lloyd reflects on Ningbo…

Credit: David Noels/HME

Daniel Lloyd reflected back on what was an important weekend which offered some hope of reclaiming the Championship lead on Saturday, before events on Sunday changed the outlook of that task.

“A really unfortunate end to what started as a positive weekend. We did a great job in free practice and qualifying and were on the pace all weekend with the aim for Ningbo to close the gap to the championship leaders, and it was almost job done in race one,” explained Lloyd.

“Securing the podium brought us back to just three points off the lead. So to be taken out of race two with another podium on the cards was gutting. I was in a really good position, battling with Engstler and then my team-mate, who was leading the race, lost it on the first corner and collected me. There was nothing I could have done.”

TCR China race one at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain the difficulty of trying to secure 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

“That incident has sadly put our championship hopes pretty much out of reach. We’re twenty points behind now, which is a full race win. There are just two races to go which means something would have to happen to the leaders now for us to be within grasp of claiming the title,” said Lloyd.

“There’s still hope, but it’s a long shot now. The team did a great job this weekend. It’s just really unfortunate how it’s all worked out.”

Lloyds thoughts ahead of the Zhouzhou Finale…

Credit: David Noels/HME

The 27-year-old arrives at this weekend in mathematical championship contention, sitting twenty points shy of the lead.

With four podiums under his belt already this season, Lloyd knows that the title race lies in the hands of his opponent this weekend, however, the Yorkshireman is determined to sign-off his debut TCR China season on a high note.

Credit: David Noels/HME

The Dongfeng MacPro Racing Team driver also carries the hopes of the squad’s title hopes this weekend. Currently second in the standings, the three-car outfit has a 36-point deficit to close in order to claim the Teams title honours in the season finale.

“We’ve had a really good season and been in championship contention all year;” said Lloyd. “The final race at Ningbo dropped us back just that bit too far, unfortunately. Although on paper we could still claim the title, it’s really out of our hands now and down to the leader to lose,” explained Lloyd.

“There’s still a small chance, but it’s a long shot now. We’ve just got to go out there and give it our best shot this weekend. I really hope that we can at least clinch the Teams title. The Dongfeng Racing crew have been brilliant all year. It would be a fitting reward for all of their hard work this season. I’ve really enjoyed my time racing with the team and in the TCR China series. Fingers crossed, we can go out in glory!”

Credit: David Noels/HME

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes to secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd endures highs and lows at Ningbo

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Daniel’s performance at Ningbo International Speedpark in China with TCR China supporting the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) over the weekend, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Qualifying at Ningbo…

Luca Engstler. Credit: TCR China

With the penultimate race weekend of the series having all the more important of the tight nature of the Drivers Championship, an unknown element entered the weekend in the shape of four-time TCR Champion Luca Engstler.

The German driver entered his Hyundai i30 N TCR as a wildcard in the series at Ningbo and didn’t turn a wheel until Qualifying.

Engstler outpaced the TCR China field in Qualifying to set the fastest time of 1:50.633 that was even faster than Yvan Muller’s pole position in the Saturday WTCR Qualifying session. An impressive result, considering that this was his first outing on the Chinese track, having missed free practice.

Rodolfo Ávila in the X Power MG6 TCR. Credit: TCR China

The impressive pace of the Hyundai, despite carrying 60kgs of new entry weight meant that the TCR China regulars were left far behind. Martin Xie qualified in second ahead of Lloyd and Couto.

Lloyd’s teammate was the fourth fastest ahead of Zhang Zhen Dong in the best of the two MG6 TCR cars.

Race One at Ningbo…

TCR China race one at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

After outpacing the TCR China field in Qualifying, Luca Engstler dominated the first race at Ningbo. The German took the lead at the start and then consistently created a gap, crossing the finishing line 4.5 seconds ahead of Daniel Lloyd.

During the first lap, Martin Xie tried to overtake Engstler for the lead. Engstler was able to successfully defend his position and this, in turn, benefited Lloyd who passed his teammate for second place, whilst the Hyundai driver retained the lead and began to pull away.

André Couto struggled to keep fourth position on track however he managed to hold off Huang Chu Han’s pressure and stayed ahead of the Audi driver who would secure fifth place at the flag.

André Couto in the third Dongfeng Racing Team Honda Civic TCR Credit: TCR China

For the rest of the race, Engstler gradually increased the gap to Lloyd whilst Xie found himself hunted down by the chasing pack of Couto and Huang. Zhang Zhen Dong cruised home in sixth position with his MG6 TCR.

The most interesting battle during the race was that for seventh position between Kenneth Look, Yan Chuang, Edward Chen and Rodolfo Ávila in the second MG6 TCR who swapped places several times. During the last lap, Chen and Ávila made contact handing seventh place to Look from Chen, Chuang and Ávila.

In the Drivers Standings, Huang has retains his points lead, however, Lloyd closed the gap to three points ahead of the second race on Sunday.

Race Two in Ningbo…

TCR China race two at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The second TCR China’s race at Ningbo was decided by an unfortunate incident during lap three that eliminated the MacPro Racing Honda cars of André Couto and Daniel Lloyd who were running first and second on the road.

Luca Engstler inherited the lead and easily encored his Saturday win, while Huang Chu Han cruised to finish second place and stretched his championship-leading margin in the standings to 20 points ahead of Lloyd.

At the start, Edward Chen started well from the pole, while Martin Xie hit Kenneth Look’s car, which spun off. Xie’s Honda suffered from a broken front suspension and James Wong also spun in avoidance.

Huang Chu Han in the Newfaster Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR. Credit: TCR China

Couto and Lloyd overtook Chen, moving into first and second whilst Engstler passed Zhang and Chen to take third place behind the leading MacPro Racing Hondas.

During lap three, Engstler started to challenge Lloyd for second position, when Couto spun in front of them both, leaving Lloyd nowhere to go except to crash into his teammate’s car. Engstler was lucky to avoid being caught in the collision and found himself lead out in front, well ahead of Huang and Chen.

Engstler went on to win from Huang and Chen, while the X Power MG cars of Zhang Zhen Dong and Rodolfo Ávila were classified fourth and fifth. After the race, Chen was penalised for a jump start and this elevated Zhang and Ávila to third and fourth.

Lloyd reflects on Ningbo…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: David Noels/HME

Daniel Lloyd reflected back on what was an important weekend which offered some hope of reclaiming the Championship lead on Saturday, before events on Sunday changed the outlook of that task.

“A really unfortunate end to what started as a positive weekend. We did a great job in free practice and qualifying and were on the pace all weekend with the aim for Ningbo to close the gap to the championship leaders, and it was almost job done in race one,” explained Lloyd.

“Securing the podium brought us back to just three points off the lead. So to be taken out of race two with another podium on the cards was gutting. I was in a really good position, battling with Engstler and then my team-mate, who was leading the race, lost it on the first corner and collected me. There was nothing I could have done.”

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain the difficulty of trying to secure 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

“That incident has sadly put our championship hopes pretty much out of reach. We’re twenty points behind now, which is a full race win. There are just two races to go which means something would have to happen to the leaders now for us to be within grasp of claiming the title,” said Lloyd.

“There’s still hope, but it’s a long shot now. The team did a great job this weekend. It’s just really unfortunate how it’s all worked out.”

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: David Noels/HME

The TCR China Touring Car Championship follows the successful route of live streaming, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, by showing all of their races live on YouTube and on Facebook.

This is done on the AFOS (Asian Festival of Speed) YouTube Account which you can find here. You can also find live coverage of the races at TCR TV as well as on the TCR Asia Series and TCR China Facebook pages. The joint TCR Asia and TCR China series events use full English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series outside of Asia.

To watch the full TCR Asia/TCR China races with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 TCR Asia International Series / 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship

The 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The final rounds of the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship take place over the weekend of 26-27 October at Zhuzhou International Circuit.

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes against the 2019 TCR Asia International Series competitors whilst looking to try and secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd ready to fightback at Ningbo

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Daniel’s performance at the Zhejiang International Circuit in China, before the series took its summer break, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Please keep in mind that during the weekend, the TCR Asia International Series and the TCR China Touring Car Championship competed in combined grids, whilst scoring points for their separate championships.

Race One at Zhejiang…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

Luca Engstler took a dominant victory in the TCR Asia/TCR China first race at Zhejiang International Circuit and staked a serious claim on his second consecutive TCR Asia title.

Huang Chu Han finished in third position overall and won the TCR China race, reducing his gap in the standings from Daniel Lloyd.

Engstler took the lead at the start from pole position and pulled away at the rate of one second per lap faster than his closest competitors. Behind him, there was a close fight for the second position. Lloyd led the group of chasers, but he made a mistake and went wide at the last turn at the end of the second lap, Pepe Oriola and Huang took the opportunity to pass him, moving up to second and third.

On lap 6, Huang passed Oriola, but the Spaniard didn’t give up and retook the second position on lap eleven. In the final part of the race, Huang settled in third position that meant he would take victory in the TCR China classification, while Lloyd defended fourth place from Diego Morán.

The best of the new MG6 TCR cars, that of Zhang Zhen Dong was classified in twelfth position after fighting for tenth with Gao Hua Yang’s Hyundai and Martin Xie’s Honda.

The Honda Civic FK7 of Daniel Lloyd was later excluded from Zhejiang’s first race after failing to pass the ride height check. Lloyd’s exclusion meant that Kenneth Look and Martin Xie were promoted to second and third in the final results of TCR China’s first race and also that the Briton lost the first position in the championship standings.

Race Two in Zhejiang

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

Huang Chu Han finished fourth overall in the race and repeated his race one victory in the TCR China classification by taking back to back wins.

At the start, Martin Xie sprinted ahead of Daniel Miranda who sat on pole position, but at turn one, the Filipino driver hit the back of Xie’s Honda. This helped Morán to pass both drivers and take the lead. During the opening lap, Pepe Oriola overtook both Miranda and Xie, moving up into second. Xie, then, pitted for repairs after the incident with Miranda.

On lap three, Engstler had recovered to third after starting from tenth and began chasing Oriola. For several laps, the Spaniard defended heavily, as Engstler made a mistake and dropped to fourth position, behind Huang.

Engstler moved back into third position for good on lap twelve, but it was too late to catch up with Oriola again. Adam Khalid also overtook Lloyd for fifth on lap twelve as well.

In the TCR China classification, Lloyd was second behind Huang, while Zhang Zhen Dong finished in tenth position overall and gave the new MG6 TCR its first podium in the series. Huang has stretched the gap in the standings to nine points over Honda driver Daniel Lloyd with four races left to go.

Lloyd reflects on Zhejiang

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

“It was a tough weekend. We were carrying a lot of success ballast from Shanghai. Effectively we were 80kg heavier,” said Lloyd.

“We did a really good job in qualifying to claim the TCR China pole, and second overall. Running on new tyres we managed to get a fast lap out of the Honda, but it was really hard to with so much weight on-board. All three of us in the team struggled. I was happy with my own performance overall, but Zhejiang is a very hilly circuit, and the weight just killed our pace.

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain why he was excluded from the first TCR China race results.

“Failing the ride-height inspection after race one was a real shame. We saw from the damper sensor during the race that it had dropped below the limit. The team checked everything beforehand though and there was plenty of clearance. Unfortunately, it just meant that we lost the points from that race,” explained Lloyd.
 
“I’m still very much in the fight for the championship title, as is the team. We’re confident for the next round at Ningbo.”

Lloyd’s thoughts ahead of Ningbo…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: MacPro Racing Team

The reigning TCR UK Champion arrives at the Zhejiang province circuit just nine points shy of the current leader, with his Dongfeng Honda Racing Team also looking to reclaim the championship lead as the TCR China series heads into its final throes.

Lloyd last competed on the 4.015km track in 2017, taking an impressive double podium in the CTCC, racing against former WTCC Champion Rob Huff on his Ningbo debut. Returning to the circuit this week, the 26-year-old is keen to bounce back from a tough fourth meeting back in July where he lost a podium place due to a ride height failure in the #77 Honda Civic Type R.

““It’s been a long break since the last round at Zhejiang, I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and working with the Dongfeng crew again. The goal this weekend is to close the gap as much as we can and make sure that we win the championship at the end of the year. With only two rounds left we need to make the results count,” explained Lloyd.

“We’re not racing with TCR Asia this weekend, so it’s a smaller grid, we are supporting the WTCR grid though which is mega. Alongside the Chinese Touring Car Championship as well, so it should be a great atmosphere. Ningbo is a great circuit, I had a good battle with Rob Huff last time I raced here and we took two second-place finishes. Hopefully, we can be as successful here again this weekend.”

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

The TCR China Touring Car Championship follows the successful route of live streaming, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, by showing all of their races live on YouTube and on Facebook.

This is done on the AFOS (Asian Festival of Speed) YouTube Account which you can find here. You can also find live coverage of the races at TCR TV as well as on the TCR Asia Series and TCR China Facebook pages. The joint TCR Asia and TCR China series events use full English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series outside of Asia.

To watch the full TCR Asia/TCR China races with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 TCR Asia International Series / 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship

The 2019 TCR Asia International Series and the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship at Zhejiang. Credit: TCR Asia-TCR China

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes against the 2019 TCR Asia International Series competitors whilst looking to secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!