Aiden Moffat proves to be the Laser Tools Racing hero this weekend as he converted a first-ever pole position into a commanding lights-to-flag win in the opening race at Croft.
Croft circuit in North Yorkshire was the venue for the weekend’s BTCC racing and as Laser Tools Racing entered the weekend with only four rounds (12 races) of the season left, Ash Sutton was in a healthy 30 point lead in the driver standings. However, as we all know, that lead can be wiped out in a single race, so collecting points would be the name of the game this weekend. These are vital in every championship class that we are in, as things are incredibly close at the top!
Both free practice sessions on the Saturday morning were run in the dry and were very productive for the team on this challenging circuit that is liked by drivers and fans alike. Then came the all-important qualifying session in the afternoon. In a session marred by two red flags, the Laser Tools Racing Infinitis were on it from the word go, with Aiden and Ash in 3rd and 4th places for a lot of the session. That they were so consistent is a testament to the outstanding work that the team has done and the quality of the driving. In the last two minutes of the session, everyone threw caution to the wind and then the timing screens showed up the fastest lap and thus the driver who would be on Pole Position for Race 1 on the Sunday: it was Aiden Moffat for Laser Tools Racing!
“That’s taken some waiting, hasn’t it!” commented Aiden. “I’ve been in the BTCC since 2013 and that’s my first pole so it’s a special, special moment. We’ve had good pace this year and I can’t thank Laser Tools Racing, my engineer Dan and even Ash Sutton for the help he gives me. So it’s nice to get that long-awaited pole!”
With Ash Sutton ending up in P8 and with Carl Boardley in the top 20 that was a fabulous session for the team.
For the first race of the day, rain was threatening. But with Aiden on Pole, Ash in 8th and Carl in 20th the team were in great shape. It was time for action. Off the line all three got a good start and Aiden lead into the first corner. In an initial stint Aiden was able to hold his lead, but then came the dreaded safety car as one of the Hondas went into the barriers at the complex.
On the restart it was all systems go and Aiden, Ash all had very good restarts. Aiden stayed out front, Ash gained two places and Carl gained five places. At the end it was a lights to flag victory for Aiden Moffat, leading every single lap and taking his first win at Croft and his first pole and Race 1 win in the BTCC. Wow! Aiden had controlled the pace from the outset, often cleverly bunching up the cars behind as his rear-wheel drive Infiniti Q50 exited the final Hairpin, and he expertly fended off the advances of Hill’s Ford Focus throughout, to take his first win since Silverstone in 2018.
Ash gained valuable points that would let him start Race 2 with a big incentive to steal a couple more places. Carl was also happy with an excellent result and a good opportunity for Race 2.
Now on a dry and sunny track, with Aiden again on Pole, Ash in 6th and Carl in 15th the team were in fighting mood. Off the line all three got a good start and Aiden lead into the first corner. He was able to hold his lead, but then came the now customary safety car. On the restart Aiden who was now carrying 75kg full success ballast was immediately under attack from Jake Hill’s lighter Ford and eventually Jake got past and blasted off into the distance to end the race 4 seconds clear. However Aiden drove a mature, competent and very fast race to bring his fully laden Infiniti home in second place. Ash had a constant battle with those around him nudging him at every opportunity and he brought his car home in 5th, with Carl in 23rd. Another very good race for the team.
After the race the reverse grid for Race 3 was drawn; this put Ash’s Championship rival Colin Turkington on pole with Ash 3rd on the grid, Aiden 6th and Carl 23rd. Thus for the last race of the day most of the title contenders would be in the top 5 on the grid.
Race 3 was an easy win for Colin Turkington as Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton kept Gordon Shedden occupied just behind the race winner. Ash was looking for opportunities to get past Shedden but wisely settled for the championship points of a P3 podium and also scored an important extra point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Aiden finished in 6th and Carl Boardley triumphed in the Jack Sears Trophy and joined the Race 3 podium.
At the conclusion of another very successful weekend for Laser Tools Racing:
- Driver’s Championship – Ash in 1st place with a 29 point lead
- Driver’s Championship – Aiden up to 7th place, 2 points behind Gordon Shedden
- Independent Driver’s Championship - Ash in 1st place with a 35 point lead
- Independent Driver’s Championship - Aiden in 5th place 3 points behind Adam Morgan
- Independent Driver’s Championship - Carl in 15th place
- Team’s Championship – Laser Tools Racing lead by 15 points
- Independent Team’s Championship – Laser Tools Racing lead by 27 points
- Jack Sears Trophy – Carl is in 3rd place
It’s a quick turnaround for the UK’s premier motorsport series as Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Silverstone next weekend (25/26 September).