Positive Weekend as PMR Bags Multiple Podiums at Silverstone
This weekend saw the KwikFit British Touring Car Championship head to Silverstone for Rounds 22, 23 & 24 of the championship. Buoyed by the car’s performance at Croft the weekend before, the team worked hard to strip, assess and reassemble the car in just a few days-no mean feat.
A late afternoon Shakedown session at the circuit saw both Dan Lloyd and Jason Plato complete more than 15 laps a piece, and both were happy with the way the car was feeling, boosting confidence as we headed into the first Free Practice session, to take place Saturday morning.
The day dawned as a beautiful autumn morning, with the air clean and crisp, with some light fog in the air. Perfect conditions to extract maximum power from the cars. As always, the team used the session to scrub in tyres, adapt setups and gather data for the rest of the weekend. At the end of the session, both drivers had secured places in the Top 15, with Jason P14 and Dan P15, just 0.6 of a second off the top of the grid.
FP2 was to be more positive for Lloyd, as a number of qualifying simulation laps led to him posting the 5th fastest time of the session; a prelude for what was to come later in the day. It would, however, not be quite as strong for Plato, who finished the session early, with his best time eventually netting him P19.
Come mid-afternoon, it was time for Qualifying, but this time with a difference. Following on from Snetterton earlier in the year, TOCA would elect to bring the Top 10 Showdown back for this round, meaning the Top 10 drivers from the initial 30 minute Qualifying session would return to the track immediately after for a 10-minute Showdown, deciding their running order for Race 1 the next morning.
The initial Qualifying session would see Dan come home P7, with his teammate just behind in P8, less than 0.3 of a second off pole. The Showdown would see these results change slightly, with Dan bringing his Astra home P5, exactly 0.2 off Pole, with Jason less than 0.3 behind that, to round out the Top 10.
Race 1 would see both drivers ready and raring to go, with both of them starting in the Top 10. Dan would make a fantastic start, finding himself up in P4 by the close of Lap 1, gaining another place in Lap 2 to find himself in the Top 3. Lap 3 would see him record the Fastest Lap, although he would lose that later in the session to reigning champion Ash Sutton. He would drive hard to defend his spot from Moffat in the penultimate lap, ultimately crossing the line P3 for his first podium of the day.
Jason would drive similarly hard, although he would be unable to fight his way further forward than P9, which he would hold for the earl stages of the session, before being passed by the BMW of Jelley to finish P10.
Race 2 would see Dan starting from P3 on the grid, giving him the opportunity to capitalise on being so close to the front. Alas, it was not meant to be, and a poor start saw him enter the first turn P6, losing another place to Sutton on lap 3. Following a short safety car period, which would see engine temperatures rise to high levels, he would battle with Rowbottom for a couple of laps, eventually dropping to P10 for the remainder of race, until being passed by his teammate and Jake Hill right on the line to take P12.
Plato wouldn’t have much more luck during his session, settling in to P11 after Lap 8 to chase down his teammate, before losing 4 places thanks to heavy contact with Oliphant. During the closing stages he would pass Hill to take P11, before being passed again by Hill, whilst passing Lloyd, to take P11.
The initial Reverse Grid Draw would put Jason on Pole for Race 3, with Lloyd still down in P12. However, a technical infringement on the Honda of Josh Cook would see him disqualified from the Race 2 results, meaning Lloyd would now start on Pole, with Jason just behind him in P2.
Dan would make a fantastic start, taking the hole shot and leading the race from the off. Toward the mid stages of the race he would do battle with the Ford Focus of Jake Hill, fending him off until the very start of Lap 11, where Hill would make a move on Dan through Luffield and take him across the line. With Jake so close to leading the Championship, Lloyd made the sensible decision to not attack too hard, eventually crossing the line P2 in one piece for his second podium of the day, and best result of the year so far.
Jason would be unable to hold off the more circuit-suited rear-wheel-drive cars behind him, being pushed wide by the BMW of Jelley for P4, before being passed by Championship leader Sutton for P6, the position he would hold until the end of the session.
Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing would leave Silverstone 5th in the Independents Teams Championships, with Jason Plato 9th and Dan Lloyd 11th in the Independents Standings.
Dan Lloyd – “I’m over the moon with the results from the weekend. It wasn’t really expected, if we’re being honest, as it’s been such a tough season for all of us. To finally get a day like that left me speechless; the first podium was great, but the second one was the icing on the cake. Everyone has been working so hard behind the scenes for not a lot of reward, so this one feels quite special and has really boosted morale in the ranks. We’ll look to carry this form over to Donington, and I want to give a massive thank you to everyone behind the scenes, especially my Engineer Martin and his crew.”
Jason Plato – “It’s been a weekend of mixed fortunes for us. Dan had a great weekend and drove beautifully, and was rightly rewarded with 2 podiums. I had a trying weekend with chassis issues in both Free Practice sessions, meaning we were on the back foot going into Qualifying. We had an engine change after Race 1 due to a lack of straight-line speed, which annoyingly didn’t seem to cure the problem. Having said that, the team are working incredibly hard behind the scenes to find a solution to the speed issues.”
Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager – “The team have been working so hard behind the scenes for the whole season for what has been a continuous run of bad luck and little reward, so it’s been a massive relief to bag some proper results again. We’ve had more than 20 Top 10 finishes this season, so it was about time we secured some silverware. Dan drove fantastically across the weekend, proving to the naysayers that the car isn’t too old, or past it, and is still up there at the front when we’re not mired by bad luck.”
Adam Weaver, Team Principal – “I couldn’t be happier with the results from this weekend. We’ve had so much bad luck this year, and it was great to be able to get on the podium not once but twice this weekend, especially in front of some of our biggest Partners. The result across social media has been fantastic, with people seeing that the car is far from “past it”-in fact, Jason’s is the newest car on the grid, having been freshly built for this season. Hopefully we can carry the momentum into Donington and to Brands, and bring home some more trophies!”