Laser Tools Racing Report Mixed weekend for Aiden Moffat at Oulton Park
Our touring car ace Aiden Moffat had a mixed weekend in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park, as he starred in the opening race but suffered a bruising bang into the barriers in race three.
Aiden’s weekend began with third fastest time in qualifying, and was in buoyant mood going into race one. “I’m over the moon to be honest,” he said. “I wasn’t that confident coming into the event but the car has been amazing, night and day better than last year here. In fact, it is the best that the car has felt in a long time.”
Aiden started third on the grid for the opening 15-lap race on the softer option tyre and, having briefly lost track position, retook third spot on lap two. He then chased the two race leaders as well as defending from a snarling pack of cars behind him. The Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class soaked up the pressure as best it could, with Ash Sutton’s Subaru Levorg leading the chase. Sutton in turn had a gaggle of cars on his tail and became increasingly desperate to get by and eventually gave the Mercedes a nudge at the Hairpin on lap 10 and charged alongside as they ran out of the corner. Aiden, having been forced wide, defended as quickly as he could but with Sutton unsighted alongside the Mercedes, Aiden involuntarily edged Sutton on to the grass.
It looked spectacular but Sutton backed out of the move and dropped in behind Aiden again, but was able to use his lighter Subaru to pass for third, leaving Aiden with his nine kilos of success ballast to secure fourth place.
“Ash was unsighted. He is a mate so I certainly wasn’t trying to wipe him out, but I had been struggling on the soft tyres and probably needed a bit more front camber so he was able to get on to my tail. It was a good result and should set us up for the rest of the day.”
From fourth place in race one, Aiden would carry 48 kilos of success ballast in race two and ran sixth before he had a lurid slide at Cascades, the fast downhill left-hander on lap four.
“I was struggling with the balance with the extra weight,” explained Aiden. “I struggled from the start and I lost a place to Gordon Shedden and then I tried to brake early for Cascades and the car just locked up and spat me sideways. I don’t know why but that dropped me back to the 14th place and with the balance and the weight, I couldn’t really do much from there. It is so hard to overtake here that I was stuck in traffic for the remainder of the race.”
That left Aiden 14th on the grid for the final race, but he was running 13th and ready to pounce for more places when he was attacked by Dave Newsham’s Chevrolet Cruze. The two touched at the Hairpin and the contact pushed Aiden out wide, and as he tried to defend, Newsham was edging alongside in a situation similar to the brush with Ash Sutton in race one. This time, though, Newsham backed out of the throttle and Aiden’s immaculate Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz was turned across the front of Newsham’s car and fired at high speed into the barriers. With lots of damage, Aiden was out of the race on the spot and the race was neutralised to remove his wrecked car.
“Newsham hit me in the back,” explained Aiden. “He was so far back I didn’t think I needed to defend and then I felt a bang and it pushed me wide. I instinctively moved across to defend the line and I felt the contact. I tried to steer left as soon as I felt his car but it was too late and I was off into the wall.
“It hasn’t been a perfect weekend but again we have shown we have good pace and are in a more competitive place than we were 12 months ago. We go to Croft next and I am sure that we will be able to score good points across all three races.”
Aiden is now 11th in the Drivers’ Championship and fifth in the Independent Drivers’ contest, with the next stop for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship being Croft, North Yorkshire, on June 10/11. Full coverage of Aiden’s three races will be live and exclusive on ITV4 on Sunday June 11.