Exciting BTCC Silverstone
Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat starred in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone on Sunday with two stunning drives.
The Laser Tools-backed driver had a great start to the weekend with fifth best time in the second practice session and there was optimism going into qualifying, but Aiden never found track space to hook up a decent lap time. In addition, the field was so closely-matched that the cars were split by thousandths of a second, meaning that although Aiden’s best lap was only half a second away from pole, it put him 24th on the grid for the opening 22-lap race.
Aiden was in feisty mood come race day and was one of the heroes of the opening race. His Mercedes-Benz A-Class rocketed up from the back of the grid and was 18th at the end of the opening lap. From then on, in damp conditions, Aiden picked off cars with ease and was a fantastic eighth at the end of the race — meaning he had made up 16 places to win Dunlop’s Forever Forward award to reward drivers for overtaking! He might have done even better, but for a late-race stoppage after a three-car smash at Becketts Corner that brought the race to an early close.
“The car felt brilliant,” said Aiden. “The conditions helped actually, because when the drizzle came it made the track quite slippery, the car was quite loose and I really felt comfortable! It was a bit like my oval racing days on difficult surfaces. When your confidence is there it becomes easier and I just kept pushing, the car got faster and it was just a great feeling to have a good car underneath me.”
Aiden started eighth on the grid for race two and made a great start to run sixth until a driveshaft broke and pitched the car off the road. Aiden limped to the pit lane and retirement meaning that he would be forced to start race three at the back of the grid again…
“That was really annoying. I made a good start, gained some places and thought I would bide my time and start to plan my attack. And then out of nowhere, the driveshaft let go and that was that: no warning and just a string of “what ifs”?
Aiden was the focus of attention in race three. Starting 29th, he avoided most of the early-race mayhem at Luffield Corner but still got clobbered by the pack, which tweaked his left front geometry forcing the car to handle badly. Worse was to come when the safety car was deployed and the pack bunched up and he was hit again by a car behind! That put his left-rear wheel out of line so the car was a real handful for the remaining laps, but Aiden wasn’t to be deterred and kept pushing and kept passing!
By the end of the 25-lap race, Aiden was 14th, a gain of 15 places meaning that the star over-taker of the weekend had passed over 30 cars in his two full races! This resulted in winning the Most Improved Independent Driver Award from Dunlop.
“To make over 30 places up in the races can’t be all bad,” reckoned Aiden, “but who knows what might have been if the driveshaft hadn’t let go. The car in race three was on the regulation harder tyre and that wasn’t easy, especially when the handling was knocked out of line, so it was a tough race but enjoyable to make such good progress up the order. The race pace was brilliant so I am really positive about the weekend as a whole and if we can carry that on to Brands Hatch, we should end the season with great results. I enjoyed that winning feeling at Donington back in April and I’d like it again before the winter break, so we are going to Brands Hatch in optimistic mood.”
Aiden’s weekend puts him 14th in the championship and seventh in the Independents’ competition, with just three more races to run. Brands Hatch, Kent, is the venue for the final event on September 30/October 1 with day-long coverage live and exclusive on ITV4.