Daryl DeLeon Racing

Technical woes hamper Daryl DeLeon during BTCC weekend at Knockhill

Team HARD Racing driver Daryl DeLeon Taylor is still learning the ropes of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) after only making his debut a month ago. And just like last time he was out on track, his second ever event at Knockhill had its fair share of challenges.

The goal was simple, to finish stronger than the previous race at Croft. FP1 and FP2 were spent learning the track, fine tuning the #18 Cupra Leon, and finding where its limits were around the 2.0389 km circuit. However, it was easier said than done considering the variable weather conditions and Knockhill’s menacing kerbs that are best known for launching cars on 2 wheels.

Daryl was then sent out to Qualify on a wet track with a drying line on slicks. Understanding the risks, he still pushed to put in a fast lap but his effort was unrewarded. The rear end broke loose on the run to the chicane and sent Daryl across the grass with his #18 machine sustaining damage before he could even get a solid lap in.

This left the Filipino-British driver with no other option but to start from the back of the grid in Race 1. He managed to stay out of trouble in the opening laps and the chaos that ensued. The heavens later opened up halfway through and forced Daryl to dart into the pits for a tire change. He managed to rejoin behind the Safety Car as it picked up the leaders, but immediately felt that something was wrong with his Cupra Leon. The front left wheel would detach after only a few laps in, which was improperly secured during his stop, and unfortunately forced him into retirement.

Blessed with clear skies, Daryl wanted redemption in Race 2. But luck was sadly not on his side once again. His #18 machine lacked in power and was visibly slower in a straight line, which was later traced to a disconnected turbo pipe. Unable to fight for position, he did what he could to cross the finish line in 22nd.

Race 3 was his last chance to turn the race weekend around. Daryl was enjoying good battle for position in the wet and was en route to a strong finish before he was called into the pits for an unscheduled stop. It appeared that the lights on his #20 Cupra Leon was inoperative, which had to be fixed before he could rejoin the track. However, all efforts from Team HARD Racing proved unsuccessful and meant that Daryl had to retire yet again.

Despite the technical woes that prevented Daryl from fighting at the front, the 18-year-old driver vows to come back stronger when the BTCC heads to Donington Park on the 26th/27th of August 2023.

Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “Another difficult weekend. It’s not what the team and I wanted, but still thankful for the efforts of the everyone involved for pushing through and trying to solve the issues. Hopefully in 2 week’s time we can come back stronger and fight up there at Donington Park.”

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