Moffat enjoys strong weekend in BTCC finale
Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat ended his 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season with two top 10 finishes in a season that was capped by a win and two third places.
Aiden, with driver coach Alain Menu (a double BTCC champion) working closely with him, unlocked the potential of the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class during qualifying to put the Laser Tools liveried car ninth fastest and in the mix for a podium finish for Race one. Aiden made an excellent start and blasted into contention, enjoying an early-race tussle with Sam Tordoff’s Ford Focus. However, the two traded places as Aiden’s Mercedes-Benz A-Class seemed to have a gremlin. “The car felt like it had fuel surge,” explained Aiden, “It would bog down coming out of the corners, but the set-up of the car felt really good so I am looking forward to seeing how it goes if we can get to the bottom of that problem. It was a tough battle with Sam: he’s not shy with the front bumper!” Despite the problem, Aiden drove valiantly to secure seventh place after an impressive performance.
For Race two, Aiden started seventh on the grid and again made progress moving through to fourth place early in the race. By mid-distance, Aiden was caught by championship hopeful Tom Ingram and rather than affect the championship outcome, Aiden elected to allow Ingram by. Running fifth, Aiden again secured points and was the best-placed of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class drivers as he outpaced Tom Oliphant and Adam Morgan.
“I saw Tom Ingram coming and thought it was best not to risk the outcome of the championship, but I also thought that as he had a quick car with no success weight and I had 21 kilos, I would latch on to his tail and try to pick up places as he did. I reckoned if he could overtake cars and I could run on his tail, I would be well placed. Trouble was, once he passed me he didn’t make any more progress!”
Aiden’s fifth place was followed by sixth on the reverse grid for the final race of the season. With the softer option tyre, felt to be the quicker choice, Aiden was in confident mood and ran strongly in the opening laps. Running fifth, though, Aiden suddenly suffered a puncture, possibly caused by running over a tiny piece of debris on the circuit.
Aiden commented: “It came out of nowhere. The car felt really good and then suddenly it went. The car felt so different so suddenly and so I had to limp to the pit lane and change it. The good news was that I stayed on the lead lap but when you need a safety car you don’t get one! That would have let me catch back up on to the back of the pack and then maybe make up places, but I never got the chance so I ended the race 27th. That was a result that went begging…”
Aiden’s season was a topsy-turvy one, including a win at Silverstone and a near miss at Brands Hatch at the start of the season. The Laser Tools-backed Scotsman ended the season 16th in the title race and eighth in the Independents’ Trophy in which Aiden took two wins.
Aiden and the team now look forward to 2019 and will confirm their plans shortly. The 2019 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship kicks off at Brands hatch on April 6/7.