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Neil Lloyd has eyes on Classic TT after wrapping up championship title

Neil Lloyd has been able to look back on yet another hugely successful year on the circuits and roads after claiming club championship title.

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Lloyd, who has split his time between the Irish road racing scene and the British circuits, ended his year in the best possible way after winning the Japanese Classic 500cc championship.

And now Lloyd, from Wednesbury, is hopeful his title – through the British Historic Racing Club – will mean he can race his classic machine on the famous on the Isle of Man TT circuit in 2022, following two years of cancellations due to the pandemic.

"Hopefully this championship win will help us with a Classic TT entry for next year’s event, as that’s been our goal all year," he said.

"We were accepted for 2020 but then it was cancelled due to coronavirus."

The Classic TT is raced around the same famous 37.73-mile circuit used for the TT and, as Lloyd has turned his attention to classic racing in recent years, he hopes to be racing on the island again next summer.

With his dedicated team, he has been working hard behind the scenes on his Honda all year – and all that effort paid off at Cadwell Park, in Lincolnshire, when he lifted the Japanese Classic 500cc championship trophy.

"We went into the final round of the British Historic Racing Clubs meeting at Cadwell leading the championship by 23 points," said Lloyd, who has been a regular winner Darley Moor in Derbyshire, and Mallory Park in Leicestershire, over the years.

"We started with practice but there were no qualifying times as the the first race is determined by your championship position, so I was starting on pole.

"We ran second in class for most of the race but then lost a position on the last circuit following a three-lap battle where we were swapping positions every corner."

The afternoon race was pushed over into the Sunday, which meant Lloyd would be faced with three races in a single day, instead of the usual two.

"I got a good start in the first race and we finished second in class, which meant we were uncatchable – mathematically – and we had won the 2021 Japanese 500cc Classic championship!

"The pressure was off and I could relax a bit with the last two races of the day."

Lloyd was again running second in class in the penultimate race before a puncture in the rear tyre resulted in a DNF, but determined not to end the season on a downer, Lloyd and his team borrowed an inner tube from Da Glo Racing, fitted it themselves and managed to get out for the last race of the season.

"It was another good race and I finished second in class, so it was well worth getting the bike sorted," said Lloyd.

Lloyd has also been busy racing at some of the most famous Irish road racing circuits this year, travelling to Armoy and the Cookstown 100 as a newcomer.

Having previously raced on the roads at the Southern 100, on the Isle of Man, and Oliver's Mount in Scarborough, Lloyd was keen to experience more thrills and spills – this time on the Northern Irish courses.

Lloyd was taken on a newcomers' lap in a coach and given a few pointers before taking on the Armoy circuit.

After getting five untimed laps under his belt, he qualified 15th, with the second wave of bikes for the opening race, and after a good start was running 12th overall.

Lloyd lost three places in the last two laps, as his bike kept jumping out of gear, but managed to bring his bike home in 15th, which was good enough for eighth in class. He also managed to knock 18 seconds off his practice lap times.

The Black Country ace then headed to the Cookstown 100 – and that turned out to be a bittersweet affair as, while running comfortably in the top 10, his bike packed up, which ended his meeting prematurely.

But having won a club championship – and with two more road racing meetings under his belt – Lloyd has plenty to look forward to in 2022.

"I would like to say a massive thanks to my wife, Sam, for everything she does to make this happen," said Lloyd.

"And a massive thanks to Joy Ellis and Loz Griffiths for their support through this season. It's really appreciated.

"Thanks also to John Davies, of Davies Motorsports, for his help and advice all season and thanks to everyone who’s helped us in any way this year.

"We’re always on the lookout for new sponsors and anyone interested can contact us through our race Lloyds Racing Facebook page. We're already looking forward to the 2022 season."

Meanwhile, Lloyd's wife, Sam, and her own Saints and Sinners racing team are now ready for an endurance race on November 7, at Mallory park, having completed a few track days.

Sam, who manages her husband's 'Lloyds Racing Team', has been riding bikes herself for the 32 years – but in 2021 she will be entering a series of official races for the first time.

The grandmother-of-four set up her own all-female motorbike team to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.

And the family connection runs further than simply her husband, Neil, supporting the campaign as Sam's four-rider team will also consist of Joy Ellis and Dawn Glover, as well as Dawn's teenage daughter, Iona.

The team has also recently added Elaine Rachel Moody, who finished runner up in the Darley Moor Senior Championship this year, to the fold.

Lloyd added: "They’re all feeling confident and looking forward to it."

To sponsor Neil or Sam Lloyd, visit 'Lloyd Racing' Facebook page.

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