After claiming a memorable first BTCC victory at his local circuit of Croft in North Yorkshire in 2018, the path seemed clear for him to forge a long career in his favourite formula.
However, he was unable to secure a seat the following year and after two years of driving various alternative championships, he is back in Britain’s most popular motor racing format.
Lloyd will team up with two-time former champion Jason Plato in the Power Maxed Racing Astra, and the 29-year-old cannot wait to get started.
“It’s mega-exciting,” said Lloyd who first made his BTCC debut in 2010. “This will be the first time I’ll be heading into the championship with some pre-season testing under my belt. I’ve always been thrown in at the deep end a little bit, so I can’t wait to get stuck in.
“I want to be on the grid for years and years to come, I don’t want to be in and out of championships, so it’s important to have a really solid year this year.”
The early signs all look very encouraging as Lloyd finished eighth fastest at the Silverstone testing day recently while he came in fourth in another round of testing at Croft.
“Pre-season has been really solid,” added Lloyd. “We’ve done three days of testing. It would have been good to do a few more but it’s more than I’ve ever had in the past and I think we’ll be there and thereabouts in the mix this season.
“I’m keeping my hopes realistic to start with. I’ll be happy if I can get some podiums early doors and just keep building and get some consistent finishes. I really think we will be a team that gets stronger and stronger throughout the season.”
The West Yorkshire driver also has the perfect team-mate to call on should he need any advice. As well as his two championship successes, veteran Plato has also won 97 BTCC races – making him the most successful driver in the history of the series.
“We’ve been working really well together,” added Lloyd who yesterday signed a major sponsorship deal with Huddersfield-based 247blinds. “We like the same things on the cars so when we give feedback to the engineers we’re both working towards the same thing.
“If he finds something that adds something to the car, then we put it on and vice-versa. So that really helps from an engineering point of view.
“I was in his racing academy [KX Academy] back in 2013 so it’s a bit different now actually being his team-mate! He’s just very excited to be back after a year out.”
This weekend’s meeting at Thruxton will take place behind closed doors but the second and third rounds at Snetterton and Brands Hatch have been put back to mid and late May to hopefully accommodate as many fans as possible.
As far as Sunday’s opening three races are concerned at the Hampshire track, Lloyd is cautiously optimistic about his chances.
He added: “I don’t think Thruxton is a favourite circuit for the Astra, but I think it’s done fairly well there in the past. I’ve not driven round Thruxton for four years so I think I have a challenging weekend ahead of me getting used to the circuit again!”
Lloyd will be joined on the grid by Morley’s Dan Cammish who has agreed a guest drive with BTC Racing just for this weekend’s meeting.
Cammish lost his drive at Team Dynamics over the off season.
The Thruxton round of the BTCC will be shown live on ITV4 on Sunday from 10.50am.
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