WestCoast Racing’s Daniel Lloyd claimed a fourth pole position in the 2018 TCR UK Championship at Donington Park, heading up a 1-2-3 for the Swedish equipe.
Crucially, with Lloyd’s title rival Ollie Taylor (Pyro Motorsport) only fourth behind siblings Andreas and Jessica Bäckman, a 6-point swing in the opening race in the East Midlands will prove enough to see him crowned the series’ inaugural Champion.
A best time of 1:10.358s around the 1.97 mile National circuit in the Volkswagen Golf GTI proved enough for Lloyd, with Andreas unable to get closer than 0.3 seconds adrift of his team mate. Maximum Motorsport’s Stewart Lines continued a strong showing in the CUPRA TCR in fifth after a late improvement, and he will share the third row with Darelle Wilson’s Vauxhall Astra.
Lines’ teammate Carl Swift lines up behind the pair, although he was unable to topple the second Pyro-run Honda Civic Type R FK7 of Finlay Crocker for seventh. Swift will also start the final race of the campaign from reverse-grid pole courtesy of setting the best second-fastest lap time.
Essex & Kent Motorsport will look to end the year on a high after a weekend-best result of ninth for Lewis Kent’s Hyundai i30 N TCR, with the returning Josh Price (JP Racing) and Sean Walkinshaw (SWR) - both in Honda Civic FK2s - rounding out the field.
Dan Lloyd (1st) said, “It’s a great start to the weekend, I couldn’t have asked for any better. It feels like that’s a good bit of the battle done. I’m really happy for Andreas and Jessica, I’ve been helping them all year so it’s nice to see.
“WestCoast Racing did a mega job today to get such a strong result. You’ve got to keep in the back of your head what’s going on with the championship. The main focus is to get off the line well, I think we’ll have good pace in the wet. When it’s been wet previously, we’ve had pace, so I’m confident with that.”
Andreas Bäckman (2nd) said, “It was a really hard session. I was second to begin with but everyone kept improving, I did the best I could and I’m really happy with my lap time. I got the maximum from it I could today and I’m happy, not just for myself, but also for the team with a 1-2-3 result.
“I don’t really have any pressure anymore because I don’t have anything to fight for in the standings, but tomorrow I’m going to just do my best and see how it is.”
Jessica Bäckman (3rd) said, “I’m very happy. It’s my best qualifying so far, I really like this circuit because it’s very flowing and has plenty of fast corners. I’m very pleased with P3 and I think that’s the best I could do today.
“Dan has been helping me and Andreas a lot and we’ve gained 1.5 seconds from practice, and it’s my first time here at Donington Park. The team have done a very good job, and we’re happy to be 1-2-3.”
Race 1 is scheduled to get underway at 13:15 tomorrow [14th October], with the final round of the 2018 season set to follow at 16:10. As usual, live streaming of all the action is available through the official TCR UK Facebook page and YouTube channel, Motor Trend on Demand and on TCR websites.