Moffat frustrated at Croft BTCC battle
Driver Aiden Moffat had a troubled time at Croft, North Yorkshire at the weekend in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Aiden’s Laser Tool Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class struggled for the optimum set-up going into qualifying and even had a spin as the tricky car fought against him. That meant that Aiden lined up 24th for the opening race and he was eager to make progress.
Aiden bolted away from the start line and was gaining places up the order. Aiden found himself stuck in traffic and was running in 20th but he was then hit in the rear by the Subaru of Josh Price. That broke the right rear top wishbone and meant that the car was out of the race. “I was doing OK until Price hit me,” Aiden explained. “The car felt a lot better and I was confident of getting higher up but the damage put me out of the race. It was a massive disappointment.”
Aiden started the second race from 27th on the grid and gained 11th places as he forced his way up the order, exploiting a new and improved set-up on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Aiden was also running the option harder tyre, to be used once over a race weekend, and was in buoyant mood as he finished in 16th place.
“The car felt really good,” said Aiden. “We changed a lot of things on the car and it really worked. I felt that we had strong pace and was making good overtakes so I felt really good about the progress we had made. The option tyre certainly helped as well because it remained competitive for longer so I could gain more places across the whole race.”
Aiden started the final race from 16th on the grid and without any success ballast and on the standard, softer tyre, was ready to battle into the points. He was fighting for 13th place with Chris Smiley’s Honda Civic when Smiley moved across to defend his position. However, he wasn’t fully ahead and chopped across the front of Aiden’s car which speared Smiley onto the grass and left Aiden with damage to the car.
“It bent the suspension, bent the wheel, gave me a fluid leak and all that led to chronic understeer so the car became a real handful to drive,” Aiden commented. “I was running 13th but the car just became harder to drive and harder to control so the pack behind caught me. I held them off for as long as I could but they got me on the final hairpin and I fell back.”
Aiden dropped to 17th place on the dash to the line after a difficult race in which Aiden made the best of his opportunities.
Aiden continued: “I’ve been a victim of incidents again this weekend. I don’t know how I do it, I must be a magnet for something! Once we’d got the set up spot on I felt a lot happier in the car and was able to battle harder, so I am disappointed that I couldn’t keep pressing on and gaining ground in race three. A top 10 was definitely on for that race. We will be back for the second half of the season with a real determination to gain some more podium results and wins.”
Aiden and Laser Tools Racing now get a break until July 28/29, but there will be the two-day tyre test at Snetterton in mid-July allowing the teams a chance to gain data ahead of race weekend. The next races will be at Snetterton, Norfolk, with a special 60-mile anniversary race to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the BTCC and all the action will be shown live on ITV4.