Alex Lloyd will make his World Series by Renault bow in Monaco this weekend, having landed the chance to replace the injured Alx Danielsson in the DAMS line-up.
Lloyd, despite only brief time in the new World Series car and no prior experience of the Monaco circuit, will line up alongside Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix support event.
The World Series was among the options the Isle of Man native was pursuing ahead of the season, along with GP2 and Formula Superfund, but few options had proved viable before the campaign kicked off at Zolder a fortnight ago. However, following Danielsson's ankle-breaking shunt in qualifying at the Belgian circuit, Lloyd found himself presented with an unexpected opportunity to remind teams sponsors of the ability he showed in last year's Euro 3000 series.
"We spoke briefly with DAMS before the season, as the World Series was one of the options if we could raise the budget to compete," Lloyd confirmed to Crash.net
, "The money didn't materialise, however, so we didn't really go into any great detail about the seat. However, when we saw that there was a space available [following Danielsson's accident], we made a speculative 'phone call to DAMS to see what we could do. We also called our sponsor to see if [racing at Monaco] was something they would be interested in, and they said yes."
Lloyd, who was among the drivers selected as possibles for Britain's A1GP entry later this year, will face a tough task this weekend, having only had a rain-interrupted shakedown at Magny-Cours to get used to the car - and never having been to Monaco before. However, he insists that, while a top result would be good, he is simply hoping to put on a good show to prove what he can do in case either sponsorship or other opportunities to race arise.
"We only have 40 minutes before qualifying, so I'm not looking for a great result - although that would be nice," he admitted, "Of course, I will try my best to win, but this is more of an opportunity to meet people and to entertain those supporting me. Monaco should be a good race, and a fun event - and it's good to be getting back into a car.
"A good result will be difficult, because I've never been to Monaco before, and I've only had a quick shakedown in the car. It's a brand new chassis for DAMS too, as they got it to replace the one Alx Danielsson was in at Zolder, and there were a couple of gearbox problems at Magny-Cours. But the main reason why we only managed ten laps at the shakedown was because it rained so hard in France, we couldn't do any more than that...."
The World Series event shares equal billing with rival GP2 at Monaco, and will run on Sunday morning in GP2's usual sprint race slot. The F3000 replacement will provide the main entertainment after F1 qualifying on Saturday.