Laser Tools Racing Report Croft 2017
Laser Tools Racing driver Aiden Moffat battled through a difficult weekend at Croft, North Yorkshire, in rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with a sole points-scoring finish as his reward.
With Saturday’s pre-race running all conducted in wet weather on a treacherous track, Aiden battled through the two free practice sessions eager to establish a good set-up on his rebuilt car, damaged last time out at Oulton Park. Qualifying, always important, was abandoned after just eight minutes after a huge accident on a wet and oily track eliminated a number of cars and left some drivers in need of medical attention. With track conditions deemed unsuitable for a restart, the grid for the opening race was based on what limited running people had enjoyed before the stoppage, but poor Aiden didn’t get a lap time in as a driveshaft broke at the very start of the qualifying period.
“It might be a legacy of the accident,” said Aiden. “We’re not yet sure what caused it, but one thing is for certain: it gives me a lot of work to do.” Aiden started 29th on the grid for the opening race on Sunday, round 13 of the championship held in dry conditions and he stormed his way through the field, belying the common theory that it hard to overtake at Croft. Aiden was up to 16th from 29th after a mighty drive, but his tyres started to lose their edge as the 15-lap race wore on. “I was really struggling for grip over those last three laps with the tyres going off. At the end of the race they were down to the canvas so I was really struggling – it wouldn’t steer and it wouldn’t stop! That dropped me into the pack and I got hit so I lost even more ground.” Aiden battled on to the end but was pushed back to 23rd place after a great early display that by rights should have netted points.
Ready to fight back, Aiden started the second race from 23rd on the grid and ran the option tyre, the harder of Dunlop’s compounds that the regulations dictate must be used in one of the three races over a weekend. The Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class shone on the harder rubber as Aiden battled up the order to finish a superb 14th having gained nine places in an all-action race. “The car felt very good in that race. We had good pace whereas normally we don’t do so well on the hard tyre, but it really worked well here and I made up places so I feel happy with what I achieved in that race.”
The final race of the weekend, always a hectic affair, lasted only a lap for Aiden who was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a first-corner clash eliminated a number of cars. With some heroics being attempted into turn one, Aiden did his best to avoid contact but instead was collected by those unable to judge the effects of the drama up the road. A big whack broke a hub on Aiden’s Mercedes-Benz A-Class and he limped into the pits to retire. “It wasn’t a lot of damage but it was enough to put me out. I gave everyone room and then got hit and I know that these things can happen in motor racing but I think some people need to have a look at how they are driving and realise when they can make a move and when they can’t.
“It’s a frustrating way to end the weekend but I am happy that I have shown my ability to race hard and overtake but again it is disappointing to end with damage. We now have a break until Snetterton at the end of July, so it is a chance to recharge the batteries, test the car and come back fighting.”
The next races in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship are at Snetterton, Norfolk, on July 29/30 with full coverage on ITV4.
There was better news in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup Challenge, a BTCC support championship, also held at Croft. Excellent results for Tom Roche in the Laser Tools Racing Ginetta GT4 -- Round 9: 3rd. Round 10: 4th. Round 11: 1st. Tom started the third race (Round 11) from pole position and maintained the lead for the whole race. Well done Tom! Driver Jack Mitchell will be behind the wheel at Snetterton at the end of July.