rhys_lloyd.jpg (15171 bytes) 2009 News

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Hywel gets set to step up in 2009

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WRDA member Hywel Lloyd has been the first driver to commit himself to the Formula Three International Class for this season.

The flying 23-year-old from Corwen posted off his entry fee last week to ensure he will be on the grid when the red lights go off at Oulton Park in April’s Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series opener.

2008 was a big year for Hywel, who went on to finish 3rd in National Class in his F3 debut season after becoming the inaugural winner of the WRDA Young Driver of the year award. He was subsequently invited to join the British Racing Drivers’ Club as a ‘Rising Star’  Finish 3rd in the points standing after a string of strong points finishes and taking 2 wins  was no small feat for Lloyd and his CF Racing team, managed by his father, Harry. The family team were up against the big race experience of long established racing outfits; most of whom ran three and four cars but Lloyd proved his competitiveness alone and without team-mates to help nurse him through qualifying and back him up on the track.

That’s what persuaded Harry to accelerate Hywel’s development: "We had a three-year plan when we went into F3," he explained this week: "We would look to step up after two seasons, but we achieved more than we had hoped or expected and it was time to move on. That’s why we have decided to go up to the International Class Hywel is ready for it. He developed so well last year he is both physically and mentally ready."

Hywel added: "It’s very competitive out there and we are really looking forward to it. Lots of people talk about doing it, but we are committed and we have shown our commitment by entering. "I’m desperate to get behind the wheel again but we have plenty of work to do before the testing ban finishes next month."

Hywel will drive the latest Dallara chassis with the latest Neil Brown Honda engines. Harry said: "They did a great job for us last year and they are with us again this year and helping us in our preparation."

Neil Browns' General Manager Gavin Harrison, a 20-year veteran of motorsport, has also given Lloyd a vote of confidence and he said: "Hywel knows what’s going on, he’s not just a driver. "He knows his stuff and gives good feedback and is the perfect candidate to work with – it’s very rare that a driver is so involved in the technical and mechanical side. I’m very enthused by his results and his winter testing has been very positive which makes us very buoyant and looking forward to working with him again. I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be able to step up and do well again."

Hywel will find his work cut out for him with a host of big name teams fiedling a host of top line drivers.

Julian Westwood was the last Welsh driver to have a crack at F3 in 1992, but without much success.

Tim Davies from Lampeter was more successful with a sparkling season in 1985, taking pole position and setting fastest laps several times. However despite leading 3 races, Tim ultimately never managed to clinch that elusive victory, leaving Tom Pryces' 1973 win as the only win for a Welsh driver in the British Formula 3 Championship, and his 1975 truimph at Monaco as the last F3 win for a Welsh Driver.

The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series gets underway at Lloyd's 'home' circuit of Oulton Park, Cheshire, over the Easter weekend (11-13 April), and it is already shaping up for a typically competitive season, with new drivers, new teams and a new engine supplier - Volkswagen - set to join the grid. All Formula Three teams are now subject to a testing ban until February 16 and in the meantime Lloyd is dividing his time between the workshop, where he and his team will continue to work on the car, and the gym.

For more information on Hywel and CF Racing go to his brand new website www.hywellloyd.com

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