WELSH racing driver Hywel Lloyd goes into the Formula Three mid-season break boosted by a top ten finish in the F3 blue riband event in Holland.
The 25-year-old from Corwen finished ninth in the F3 Masters, raced through the sand dunes at the legendary Zandvoort circuit.
But there is no resting on laurels for Lloyd and his CF Racing/Manor Motorsport team and already his Dallara-Mercedes car is stripped to the bare essentials as they try to coax more speed out of it when the F3 International Series resumes next month.
Zandvoort is a hugely competitive F3 occasion, bringing together the cream of up and coming motor racing talent and former winners have included Lewis Hamilton and David Coulthard, while the likes of Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher also cut their racing teeth on the Dutch track.
It used to stage the Dutch Grand Prix and Lloyd said: “It’s the F3 race of the year so to get a top ten finish was a real plus for us, especially as things haven't been going to plan.
“It’s a great circuit and a lot of it is among the sand dunes because it’s right by the sea.
“That can cause problems with sand on the track which affects the tyres and the grip if the wind is blowing and the sand can get into everything – like having a picnic at the beach.
“Luckily it was pretty calm when we were there but our problem was that we didn’t have much time to get used to it and you could see there was a big advantage for people who had raced there before.
“It’s a bit like Oulton Park in many ways which helped because I know that very well and we were pretty happy with how things went there.”
Lloyd isn’t in action now until July 17 when the F3 caravan rolls into Rockingham before the month ends with a visit to Belgium and the great circuit at Spa.
For now though it’s all about backroom work: “There is a break from racing but we’ll still be working really hard,” he said: “We need to find more speed and we’ve got a number of things to try.
“It’s all very technical and we’ll be working with the mechanics and burning the midnight oil.
“We were pleased with the speed and performances we were getting over the winter but apart from at Magny Cours and at Oulton Park we didn’t manage to find that same performance.”
CF Racing Team Manager Harry Lloyd, Hywel’s father, said: “Zandvoort has been a big lift for all of us but we knew Hywel had it in him to do well.
“We have to make sure that the car is competitive and then we know Hywel has the ability to make an impression.”
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