Quotes from the eighth race day of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season at Donington Park GP
Dan Lloyd: “It’s difficult to really find the words to express how I feel after the final race. It’s just devastating to be so close to victory and then lose it in that way, and I’m heartbroken for the whole team as that would have been the first victory for the Cupra, and we’d have been the first Independent team to score an overall win this season.
“For once, we actually managed to benefit from the reverse grid but we still had to work hard to make sure we were in a position to make the most of it. As a team, I think we did ourselves proud but with the win on the plate, the driveshaft snapped and it was game over. It’s a tough pill to swallow because even with the pressure Rory [Butcher] was putting me under, I was 110% confident that I’d be able to keep him behind me and bring it home.
“Even with the end result, a performance like that shows the huge progress we have made with the car since we were at Donington Park for round one, and we now just need to pick ourselves up and go again at Silverstone next time out. There are more things we have found this weekend that are going to help us over the final two rounds and we have to take the positives and try – as hard as it is – to forget the obvious negative.
“My phone was going crazy after the race with messages from people so thank you to those who reached out to get in touch, and thank you as well to all the sponsors who came along for the weekend and created such a fantastic atmosphere at the circuit. Even though we didn’t get the final reward, they all benefitted from some fantastic exposure and had an enjoyable time trackside.”
Michael Crees: “Another weekend of what could have been from my side of the garage. We were quick in qualifying but didn’t quite get the lap together to put us around the top 10 which we deserved.
“Sadly on race day, we suffered with hybrid issues in every race which really stopped any chance we had of making decent progress through the field. We nearly managed to get into the points in race 3 but with one hand tied behind our back, it was tough out there.”
Dexter Patterson: “A tough weekend after a really strong showing at Knockhill last time out. We struggled to really get a grip on the balance of the car which made things tricky. It was very inconsistent and that made it hard to push forward and attack with confidence.
“We did manage to bank some points in race three which I am happy with but we will be working hard to make sure that we perform as we should be at Silverstone. We are still pushing hard as a team to get back in the Jack Sears Trophy hunt but as the races go by, we are starting to need others to have problems to enable us to catch up.”
Daryl DeLeon: “My third round in the BTCC and the car felt a lot better. We changed some things coming into this weekend and I felt a lot more comfortable than in previous rounds. The weekend also ran a bit smoother than the previous events and we were fighting for some decent positions in the races which was encouraging.
“In race one we finished 22nd after making some progress and in race two we had made a good start but early on there was some smoke coming into the car. I ignored this initially but eventually, the brakes faded massively and I went into the gravel at the final hairpin. It was a pretty scary moment but luckily there was no damage to the car.
“Race three we were really on it and made some really good progress but after some contact, the car was really pulling as the toe was knocked out. The brake pedal also went long again so I decided to bring the car in on safety grounds. It was my decision and I stand by that.
“Overall, despite the results, I’m making really good progress with the car and I’m happy with the trajectory we are on. It’s never easy going into any series halfway through, especially the most competitive championship in the UK. Big thanks to the team, we are getting there and I’m really looking forward to Silverstone in four weeks’ time.”
Jack Butel: “Started the weekend pretty well with some strong times in free practice, running as high as 10th whilst on some old tyres so we came into race day full of confidence despite a disappointing qualifying session.
“On race day we struggled in the wet for race 1 as we went for a half wet, half dry setup which affected the balance when the rain really came down just before the start. In race two we had something snap right off the line which ended our race immediately. The car felt great in race three, we were really quick through the corners and could have been able to make up a lot of ground if it wasn’t for a real lack of power below 5,000 RPM which killed us coming out of the corners, the two hairpins especially.
“So not the best of weekends but we keep our heads up and focus our attention on Silverstone.”