Aiden Moffat and Ash Sutton talk about the 2020 BTCC season
At the Autosport International show held at the NEC over the weekend, we caught up with Aiden Moffat and Ashley Sutton as they unveiled the updated 2020 livery for their pair of Infiniti Q50 touring cars. Both drivers shared their thoughts and aspirations for the forthcoming BTCC season:
Aiden Moffat is very enthusiastic: “It’s by far the most excited I’ve been at the start of a season,” he commented. “Now that we’re building two brand new Infiniti Q50s, expanding Laser Tools Racing to a two-car team, and working with Ash Sutton, it’s all coming together. Ash is bringing his race engineer Tony Carrozza to the team and I’m staying with my race engineer Federico Turrata, so it’s going to be a very exciting year for everyone. And engineering-wise we’ve been working very hard over the winter on building the two new Infinitis and redesigning them literally from the ground up. Much improved weight distribution and stiffness in the shell, and after a session in the wind tunnel at MIRA in December, the aero is substantially modified and improved.
“On a personal side, my goal this year is to get back on the top step, to be winning races. Obviously I’m still learning rear-wheel-drive — I haven’t done a full season in rear-wheel-drive yet, so there are still tracks this year that I will be driving a rear-wheel-drive car for the first time. Ash Sutton, with his experience and the fact that he’s a great person to work with, means that he’s a great person to learn from. But at the same time I’m very confident in my own ability and I’m feeling at home with rear-wheel-drive, it feels very suited to me. Deep down, I’m quietly confident I’ll get back up to the front and we’ll have two Laser Tools Racing cars at the front of the grid.
“The advantages of a two-car team are obvious. Having a team mate you can work with is going to be a massive help. Knowledge and experience are key — Ash has done three years in the rear-wheel-drive Subaru and he won the championship in this car. Engineer Tony Carrozza brings a different way of looking at things for myself and Federico, and for us all to come together it speeds up the process of developing these new Infinitis.”
Ash Sutton also confirmed that he was very excited with the development of the two new cars that are currently being built. “The car that Aiden ran in 2019 was first brought into the championship in 2014, so although Laser Tools Racing updated it to the current NGTC specs, it is, shall we say, a little bit out of date. With the build of the two new cars behind the scenes, a lot of what we have learned with the Subarus, which was a constant evolution, has been carried over into the design of the new Infinitis. That is going to be a key part of pushing this car onto the next level.
“The challenge that we will be up against this year will be learning the two new cars, and finding our feet with them. We fully intend to take the fight up to the likes of the BMWs and the Hondas, but there’s new names on the grid, and drivers in different teams this year, so we don’t really know what to expect for this up and coming season.
“However, coming into this season I haven’t been this excited since 2017, and that year we won the championship. I feel that we are piecing together the puzzle to be able to deliver ourselves to the last round of the championship and be in the title fight. The key thing for me is to be consistent — yes, everyone want race wins, but we’ve got to pick these points up. Points mean prizes and we’re after that big prize at the end of the year.
“We’ve already made quite an impact, with the expansion of Laser Tools Racing and me joining the team. You’ve got two young gun drivers that are both very fiery, that’s a combination that’s going to turn some heads and it seems to be doing that already. I’m all about playing the team game, working together is what makes us grow and will push us further up the grid. Bouncing information back and forth, learning from each other and making sure that we look out for each other on the circuit. Touring car racing is very close, rough and tough — to have a team mate that you can rely on for backup is crucial.”
So it looks like Laser Tools Racing is going to be the team to watch in the forthcoming 2020 British Touring Car Championship. Interesting times ahead!