Aiden Moffat ends Touring Car season with consistent weekend
Laser Tools Racing driver Aiden Moffat ended his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season with three points-scoring finishes in his Infiniti Q50.
Aiden’s weekend began with two practice sessions held in frustrating weather conditions as the track was greasy rather than wet or dry. Aiden’s car had a good balance straight away, lifting the spirits of the team, and Aiden felt confident when the road was at its wettest. With the knowledge from the wet races at Silverstone just two weeks ago, Aiden and his race engineer Federico Turrata were in confident mood for the weekend. Improvements were made across the two practice sessions, ready for the all-important qualifying period.
Qualifying was held on a wet track and despite being held up in traffic, Aiden bagged 10th on the grid for the opening race, but was frustrated that he wasn’t further up the grid. “I got blocked on my best lap which cost me three-tenths,” he explained. “That would have put me P6, but given how competitive the BTCC is, even a top 10 on the grid is still good so we can’t be too unhappy.”
Race one was held on greasy track and Aiden had to adapt to the conditions. “Rear-wheel drive isn’t easy on a greasy track. Ideally, we needed it wet or dry but that in-between stage is really hard for us, especially as I have limited experience of rear-wheel drive cars. I just need more mileage in the car really.”
As rain fell early in the race, Aiden dived for the pit lane to change on to wet tyres, but the rain never fell quite as hard as expected leaving Aiden frustrated. His wet tyres coped with the conditions, but the advantage never switched from the cars on slick tyres, leaving him in 13th place, still good enough to bag championship points.
“We thought about pitting a lap earlier but it didn’t look wet enough, and then when we did change the rain eased a bit and then came back late in the race. The heavy rain came too late but when the decision was made the track was greasy rather than fully wet. I had a big slide and decided to go for it! Anyway, we bagged points and showed the pace of the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti once again.”
Aiden started race two 13th on the grid, this race starting on a damp track which was slowly drying and Aiden made the call to race on wet tyres. Although the circuit dried, it dried very slowly and so the wet-shod cars continued to have an advantage and Aiden worked his way into 12th place, narrowly missing out on a top 10 finish.
“That was a tough race again because it was largely greasy out there, but that is another points-scoring finish and continued to show the decision to switch to the Infiniti was the correct one. I am learning about rear-wheel drive all the time and each lap is invaluable.”
The third race was held on a dry track, the first time that the cars had run in dry conditions all weekend. After a dramatic second race, the grid was a jumbled one and Aiden started 11th on the semi-reversed grid. However, with no dry running all weekend, and this the first time that Aiden had raced the Infiniti at Brands Hatch, it was a step into the unknown. Aiden dragged the car to 14th place, pleased that his weekend has netted three points-gathering finishes and that more data had been gleaned for next season.
“I had no idea what the car was going to be like in those conditions as it was the first time that I had driven it in the dry here. The set-up was OK for Knockhill and Silverstone, but we had to make an educated guess for here. I ran wide a couple of times but came back, and I am pretty happy with where we are with the car now.
“We adopted the attitude that the second half of this season was the first part of 2020 as we tested the car publicly. However we have gained data and experience for next year. I have had more mileage plus a podium and regular top 15 finishes so I reckon that we are in a good place for next season. With what we have achieved this year plus some testing for 2020, I reckon we can come out fighting and get the Laser Tools Racing team back to the front of the grid.”
Aiden looks forward to the 2020 season which kicks off at Donington Park on March 28/29.