Dan Lloyd made it two pole positions out of two events by securing the top time in qualifying for the TCR UK series at Knockhill, as local racer Aiden Moffat qualified on the front row of the grid in second.
Championship leader Lloyd had earlier topped Friday’s test day and Saturday morning’s practice session and the WestCoast Racing driver made his intent clear early on in a sunny Qualifying session when he went to the top of the times after eight minutes.
But with Scottish racer Moffat getting ever-quicker, Lloyd had to improve his lap time throughout the session, eventually setting a time of 50.823 seconds to claim pole position for the weekend’s first race.
Laser Tools Racing’s Moffat ended up two and a half tenths back having posted his best lap time of the weekend on the anti-clockwise configuration of the Knockhill circuit.
The new TCR series once again featured a diversity of brands in the top three positions, as Lloyd’s Volkswagen and Moffat’s Alfa Romeo were followed by the Honda Civic of Ollie Taylor (Pyro Motorsport) in third, who improved his time twice inside the final ten minutes to secure a strong starting position.
Swedish racer Andreas Bäckman was fourth fastest, giving the WestCoast Racing driver a second row starting position for Race One.
TCR newcomer Josh Price (BMR Autoglym Academy) overcame an engine failure in practice to take to the circuit with seconds to spare at the beginning of the half-hour session, qualifying his Honda Civic in fifth, ahead of the 2018-specification Honda of Scottish racer Finlay Crocker (Verizon Connect Racing) in sixth.
Lewis Kent put his Hyundai i30 N in seventh for the first race, with the third WestCoast Racing Volkswagen of Jessica Bäckman in eighth.
Darelle Wilson (DW Racing) was ninth in his Vauxhall Astra, ahead of TCR UK debutante Sean Walkinshaw in tenth and Derek Palmer Jr (Laser Tools Racing) completing the field in 11th. Walkinshaw had earlier missed practice whilst he waited for a spare suspension component to be delivered to the circuit after a failure on Friday.
The grid for the second race, which is based on a reversal of the top ten drivers’ second fastest laps, will see Walkinshaw start from pole position with Wilson alongside. Pace-setters Lloyd and Moffat will line up in ninth and tenth respectively for race two.
Daniel Lloyd (1st): “It was mega – I’m over the moon with the actual lap itself. Aiden put quite a bit of pressure on me and he was getting really close. He was around two hundredths behind me, so I needed to pull something out of the bag, so I just pushed 100% and nailed every corner. I literally could not have gone quicker than that, so I’m really, really happy.
“It’s one of those circuits where you’ve got to push mega hard, but it’s so easy to go too far and lose it all. Luckily every corner was spot on.
“Pole is great, but obviously I’ve still got to get a good start. It’s important to be in the lead here and overtaking is going to be incredibly hard. In the second race I’m just going to have to get stuck in.”
Aiden Moffat (2nd): “I’m very pleased – there’s only so much you can do with the car. There’s a lot of potential in the Alfa Romeo.
“We expected to be a lot further off the pace, so to be getting front rows in Qualifying is good. Obviously, we had that at Silverstone, but that was in changing conditions and it was a bit of a lottery. This was in a genuine session and the pace was there for the front row.
“We’re at the initial stages with the car and we have a lot planned and we’re already qualifying on the front row, so it’s looking promising for the season ahead.”
Ollie Taylor (3rd): “I’m very happy, but I wasn’t halfway through the session as we were fifth or sixth at the time. Dan and Aiden are very quick at the front and I needed to be as close to them as I could be.
“We changed to a different set of tyres and I just went out on maximum attack but also trying to be quite composed, because if you go too far beyond the ragged edge you go backwards. I’m very happy with P3.
“You need a bit of luck, you need a clear track and you need to deliver a good lap. If you’re comfortable you’re not going quick enough, so it’s just about finding a good balance and not over-driving or under-driving.
“Dan and Aiden are a very quick couple of lads and they’re experienced in this sort of racing, and it’s still only my second round, so I’m happy with that.”