The sun shone as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship sped into Croft Circuit last weekend (23/24 June), with thousands of fans enjoying riveting racing capped by a new, homegrown winner and helping to raise more than £550 for a local charity.
On a weekend of sky-high temperatures, the action on-track was every bit as sizzling, with the best very much saved until last as Huddersfield’s Dan Lloyd converted pole position into his and BTC Norlin Racing’s maiden triumph in the UK’s premier motor sport series in dominant fashion – to the clear delight of the packed spectator banks.
In a true victory-against-the-odds story, both BTC Norlin cars had to be completely rebuilt after incurring heavy damage not of their own making in a start-line shunt at Oulton Park two weeks earlier – with Lloyd’s spectacular success, in only his fourth race for the team, repaying the mechanics for all their hard work.
“I’m absolutely buzzing – just lost for words and so, so happy,” the 26-year-old enthused at the end of the weekend. “This win means so much to the team – we didn’t even know if we were going to be out at Croft after the damage at Oulton, so full credit to the boys. Emotionally, I was really having to hold it all together for the last few laps. To finish the weekend with this kind of result is just awesome – absolutely perfect.”
Lloyd was joined on the race three rostrum by Power Maxed TAG Racing’s Senna Proctor (Driffield), while a third Yorkshireman – Halfords Yuasa Racing ace Dan Cammish – may have been out-of-luck on the circuit but made his own mark by organising and leading a track walk on the Saturday evening in aid of nearby Butterwick House Children’s Hospice.
Along with Lloyd, Chris Smiley, Stephen Jelley and Ollie Jackson, Cammish visited the Stockton on Tees-based hospice – which cares for babies, children, teenagers, young adults and their families – and was so moved by what he saw that he was determined to set up a fundraising activity over the weekend.
A track walk for spectators was hurriedly devised, with more than 100 fans joining Cammish, Lloyd, Smiley, Jackson, Andrew Jordan, Tom Ingram, Rory Butcher and local hero Max Coates for a rare opportunity to spend some time with the BTCC stars and an even rarer opportunity to literally follow in their wheeltracks.
“Doing what we do and with the profile that the championship enjoys, we are in a position to make a difference in this kind of situation,” Honda driver Cammish explained. “Going to the hospice and seeing the vital work they do, there was a lot to take in and I was in no doubt that we needed to do something to help them.
“It was all pulled together very last-minute, but it was great to see so many people turn out for the track walk. It’s good for the fans to spend some time with us – everybody that came along said how much they enjoyed it – and most importantly of all, we raised some vital funds for Butterwick House, which is what it was all about.”
A total of £551.30 was collected, while Jelley has additionally established a Virgin Money Giving page in aid of the hospice for the Ironman UK challenge he will tackle in Bolton on 15 July, comprising a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a marathon. Donations can be made at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StephenJelley
Next up during Croft’s summer of non-stop entertainment will be No Limits two-wheeled thrills on 14/15 July, the fast-and-furious MSA British Rallycross Championship on 29 July and the much-loved Nostalgia Festival on 4/5 August, showcasing a feast of retro racing, classic cars, military magic and culture from yesteryear. Discounted advance tickets are available for all events from www.croftcircuit.co.uk/racing or by calling 01325 721815.
More information on all of Croft’s driving experiences and racing events can be found at www.croftcircuit.co.uk