With FP1 kicking off at 9.30am, Dan Lloyd was keen to get into the BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R for his first laps at Oulton Park, having taken a break from the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Chris Smiley as always was primed to get the laps in to enable the best possible preparation for the race weekend.
Dan completed 17 laps, finishing the session in 20th. This was solid start to Dan’s season considering his lack of seat time and carrying 45kg of ballast. After 40 minutes Dan had returned to the garage with plenty of feedback for the engineers to discuss in preparation for FP2.
Chris completed 21 laps who ended the session 5th fastest with a lap time of 1:26.545 which was just two tenths off the fastest lap of the session by Rob Austin.
Free Practice Two got underway just after the lunch break, with Chris and Dan heading straight back out to get more laps under their belts. Dan was back into the pit-lane with front vibration and following a speedy brake disc change, he was back out on the track.
The session ended with Chris 16th fastest and Dan 20th.
Team Boss Bert Taylor was positive about the day’s progress with the cars and with how new driver Dan Lloyd was settling in to the team.
“Whilst the timing sheets from FP2 do not reflect where we want to be, we are pleased with the information that we have collected and that both drivers got plenty of seat time. We are determined more than ever to get these Honda Civic Type R’s to the front of the grid.”
As expected, qualifying provided an entertaining 30 minutes of track action. Chris put in some strong laps, improving on his time from the morning which put him 13th on the grid and just six tenths off pole position.
Still only his first day in the car, Dan put in an impressive first qualifying session in the Honda Civic Type R whilst carrying 45kg of ballast and completing the session in 22nd, which was less than a second off pole and improving on his time from the morning.
Despite wanting to start the first race tomorrow higher up the grid, Bert was satisfied with the qualifying results. “Of course we would prefer to be starting further up the grid tomorrow, however we can definitely race from these places, and I know that both boys are hungry to move forward in the races!”
Photography: Phil Laughton