Daniel Lloyd will go into the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship’s summer break on a high after a stunning double victory at Croft put his title challenge firmly back on track.

Huddersfield-racer Daniel had faced a nervous two weeks to see whether he would be able to even compete at Croft after a huge accident in the previous meeting had left his car extensively damaged – and given Daniel a repair bill of more than £95,000.

Astonishing work from the EXCELR8 Motorsport squad ensured that the Hyundai i30 Fastback N was ready to race, with Daniel being given medical clearance to compete in his home meeting as he looked to repay the team for its efforts.

From the outset, it was clear to see that the repaired car was showing no ill-effects of the 40G impact it suffered at Oulton Park as Daniel showed strong form in free practice to set the fourth quickest time.

Come qualifying, Daniel would go three-tenths of a second quicker than he had earlier in the day, and at one point looked good to qualify on pole for the first time before improvements elsewhere knocked him back to third place.

Undeterred, Daniel headed into the opening race with his sights firmly fixed on a first podium finish of the campaign and he rocketed away from the line to grab second from Dan Rowbottom on the run to turn one before then taking the lead from Colin Turkington on the run to the Jim Clark Esses.

With the four-time champion keeping the pressure on throughout, Daniel – cheered on trackside by guests from key partners 24/7 Blinds, Abracs and Propack – produced a masterful drive from the front of the field to keep his rival at bay and secure a stunning victory at the same circuit where he claimed his maiden win four years earlier.

The race one win meant less hybrid power for Daniel in race two but another fine start saw him lead the field into turn one, with team-mate Tom Ingram slotting in behind mid-way through the opening lap.

After an early caution period, the pair ran together on track throughout with Daniel able to control things from the front to double up and make it two wins from two at his home circuit.

With the top twelve on the grid being reversed for race three, the final race before the summer break was all about staying out of trouble and a solid eleventh place finish meant more points to add to Daniel’s tally.

Combined, that gave him the highest scoring weekend of his BTCC career to date and means Daniel sits eighth in the standings at the half-way stage of the campaign.

“Ahead of the weekend, the boys in the team were telling me that it would be good if I could repay them with a podium finish and to be honest, I’d have been happy to come away with a few top fives after everything we’ve been through in the last two weeks,” he said. “I never dreamed ahead of the weekend that things would go as well as they did, and to come away from Croft with a double win exceeded all of my expectations.

“When you have had such a big accident, you always worry a bit about how good the car will be once it’s been repaired but from the moment we hit the track, I knew we were on for a strong weekend. We could have had pole on Saturday, and I fancied my chances for race one if I could get to the front.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so focused for the start of a race as I had a plan in my head to get into second place, and then attack Colin in the first two laps when I knew he was vulnerable – so to get ahead half way through lap one was brilliant. I had to push hard to keep him behind and it was touch and go for a while, so to bring the car home was an amazing feeling.

“To then win again in race two was surreal as I felt Colin might get me at the start, but in the end I didn’t even have to defend into turn one. The car felt better with the changes we had made and to lead the first one-two for the team was great.

“Race three was all about scoring points which is what we did and it’s been the most amazing day, both for me and also for my guests from 24/7 Blinds, Abracs and Propack who were watching on.

“I have to give so many thanks to everyone for their support over the last two weeks and to everyone in the team, particularly my engineer Dan and my No.1 mechanic Darrell, because I couldn’t have done this without them.”

With a five week break before the season resumes at Knockhill, Daniel will now continue with his quest to secure the additional backing required to maintain his championship challenge, with a range of packages having been put in place to suit all budgets as he bids to recover from the Oulton Park incident.

“There is an awful lot of work to do over the next month to drum up support for the rest of the season, and I certainly don’t think I’m going to be getting much of a summer break!” he continued.

“The results this weekend will help no end when it comes to showing what I can offer to potential partners as it’s been the best weekend I could have imagined, but I know we are still well down on the budget we need to keep our championship bid on track.

“If anyone wants to get involved then please get in touch as I’ll be happy to chat about the branding and packages we have available for the remainder of the season.”

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