Former IndyCar Rookie of the Year Alex Lloyd says he’s thoroughly enjoying his return to the cockpit this weekend at Sonoma Raceway where he’s set to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS category for CRP Racing.
After initially shifting to journalism in the years after his full time racing career concluded in 2011, Lloyd has mostly moved on to a career in the business world as the Director of Content for the San Francisco-based tech company Navdy.
Completely at ease with his new life far removed from the race track, Lloyd admitted that weekends like this provide a refreshing chance to stoke his competitive fires at the controls of the team’s Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
“It’s a lot of fun!” Lloyd told Sportscar365. “Most of my days nowadays are spent in traffic in the Bay Area, looking at other people’s tail lights, and doing about five miles an hour.
“It was definitely a little eye-opening to get back behind the wheel at some kind of speed. A track like this with a lot of undulation, it’s not the easiest track to dust off the cobwebs.
“I think for us there’s no real pressure or anything. We don’t have the MR kit like the other Caymans, so there’s, from what I gather, half a second to a second in the car.
“It’s just one of those things where we go into it, have a little bit of fun, enjoy driving again, bring the kids out, and see what we can do.”
Lloyd said the opportunity to compete this weekend at Sonoma was years in the making, born out of a relationship built racing vintage cars with Dave Roberts: the chairman of CRP Racing sponsor DeVilbiss’ parent company Carlisle Companies.
“It all started in these pro-am races in the vintage SVRA stuff,” said Lloyd. “We’ve done it four years now. Dave, the sponsor, he was my co-driver there starting in 2014.
“In that same year he put me in one of his GT cars for a couple of World Challenge races. We did a few races for some fun, then the next year we couldn’t run the car.
“Dave has been asking him for years to drive the car, finally found a weekend where it would work.”
The father of four said his career hit a crossroads in 2011, and when the funding to keep racing didn’t materialize he opted to move on to the next phase of his life instead of stringing together a series of one-offs to keep in the game.
“I had to make a decision after 2011 that if I couldn’t find funding for IndyCar, which I couldn’t, then with kids to feed I needed to go another route,” he said.
“I probably sacrificed putting a few bits together to keep racing. I’m sure I could’ve figured some stuff out, but at what cost?
“I moved myself out here and started doing marketing stuff. Things have been going quite well in that respect, so I’ve just rolled with it.
“It’s a completely different life now. It’s commuting, and office job, living for the weekend and all of that fun stuff, but it’s good.
“These races are good. It reminds you of what it is you like about it. There’s a ton of cobwebs to get rid off as I found out today. But it’s fun to be back.”