Daryl DeLeon Racing

Daryl DeLeon make steady progress during BTCC visit to Donington Park

Though there’s still some way to go, Daryl DeLeon Taylor’s most recent performance in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) shows that he’s heading in the right direction. The lone Filipino-British driver on the grid made steady progress when the series visited Donington Park and is now able to show his potential under the right conditions.

Team HARD Racing made some adjustments to his #18 Cupra Leon, which improved its handling like night and day. This gave the BTCC rookie a much-appreciated confidence boost heading into FP1 where he set the 18th fastest time of the session. It was just a fluke when one of his wheels came undone during FP2 and limited his track time, but still kept his focus on getting a good run in Qualifying.

However, the weather shifted on Saturday afternoon and caught Daryl off guard. He struggled with understeer and wound up in P24 for race day.

Putting the previous day’s setbacks behind him, Daryl was determined to move forward on Sunday and perform on a track he has raced at before. He would get off to a slow start in Race 1 caused by a non-functioning line lock on his Cupra Leon, but was otherwise able to catch back up to the pack. Making no errors and enjoying a trouble-free run, Daryl was able to have some good battles as he fought his way up to 22nd place when the chequered flag dropped.

Now starting further up the grid for Race 2, his aim was to gain several more places and further improve on his previous result. But disaster struck on lap 8 when he lost it under braking heading to the hairpin and went straight into the gravel at high speed. While he was truly beached in and could no longer continue, he was lucky not to have hit any barriers and came out unscathed.

Still a bit shaken by his off-track excursion, Daryl had to keep his head down and simply soldier on in Race 3. This time he was able make a good start and now had the pace to challenge for position, even rubbing fenders as he made a way past his rivals. Sadly, his progress was cut short when a mechanical issue forced him into retirement after only 3 laps.

Admittedly it was not an ideal weekend for Daryl, but the signs are promising. He will have a month’s break to recoup ’til the BTCC resumes on September 23/24 at the Silverstone Circuit for the penultimate event of 2023.

Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “A difficult weekend at Donington Park, but we need to focus on the positives. The car is improving every time we go out and maximum effort from Team HARD Racing all weekend. We had some challenges, but I believe that we’ll get there. Now looking forward to the next race at Silverstone where we hope to get better results. Thank you to TMS, Auntie Anne’s, and Time Attack Manila for all the support as it really goes a long way.”

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