Photo: TCR UK

Ollie Taylor focused on title decider after “great result” at Croft

Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor says he could not have hoped for a better weekend after closing the gap to TCR UK points leader Dan Lloyd to just 31 points at Croft.

Taylor took his Honda Civic Type R FK8 to a second place in the opening race of the weekend, before claiming victory in the second encounter, while Lloyd recorded his first retirement of the year.

This, combined with Lloyd’s 30 points deduction for his part in contact with Stewart Lines’ Cupra last time out at Oulton Park, has resulted in a 77 point swing in the championship on a weekend where Lloyd had looked to wrap up the title a round early.

Keen to make up as many points as possible at Croft, Taylor revealed that he employed careful tactics in a wet-dry qualifying session to ensure the best starting position across the two races.

With the Race 2 grid set by the second fastest times reversed, Taylor opted to complete just one flying lap, to secure second on the grid, with his second fastest time slowest. This meant Taylor would start the second race from pole, which he duly converted into victory.

“Lights-to-flag, that’s what we came for this weekend,” Taylor said. “The approach to qualifying, our little tactic was what we were aiming for, we gave ourselves the best chance. I got a good start and off I went.

“It was good fun, just not being in that pressure environment, really working with the car and [I was able to] bring it home.”

It was Taylor’s first on-the-road victory of the year, having inherited his only other win at Castle Combe following a post-race penalty for Lloyd. Taylor led a Pyro Motorsport one-two with Scotsman Finlay Crocker recording his own maiden podium in TCR UK.

Taylor’s win was made all sweeter when he saw Lloyd’s stricken WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR stranded at the exit of the Chicane with a broken damper.

“You don’t want to think about it too much, the guys told me over the radio, not sure for what reason,” he said. “It’s a bit of a shame because we like to have a battle, but at the end of the day I’ve got to think about my own championship.

“I had a DNF at Knockhill, Dan here so it’s certainly tightened things up a bit, but we’ve still got to keep focused, keep our foot on the gas and get as many points as we can with results like that.”

“It’s a great result for me and the team, Pyro Motorsport obviously put a fantastic car underneath me as always, so it’s been great.”

Crocker was also relieved to have finally broken his series podium duck, particularly after gear selection problems threatened to curtail his weekend running during Saturday’s warm up sessions.

“I’ve kind of known all along that we’ve had the capability of doing it, we’ve just needed to get it all together,” Crocker said.

“Sometimes things work in your favour and sometimes they don’t. We benefited from a second place start and the car was mega. The guys have put together a first class car so with a one-two, I’m chuffed to bits.”