Aiden Moffat racks up points on Thruxton touring car weekend
Aiden Moffat bagged three points-scoring finishes at Thruxton, Hampshire, at the weekend in his Laser Tools racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
The Flying Scotsman, who scored his first ever BTCC win at Donington at Easter, was one of many drivers who struggled at the start of the weekend with an unpredictable rear end to his Mercedes-Benz A-Class, but the team worked hard to make the car more stable for qualifying. Aiden battled to 12th on the 32-strong grid, a strong performance on the fastest circuit on the championship’s calendar and one at which testing opportunities are limited.
After an engine change before race day, Aiden started race one in an optimistic mood, but made a tiny error on the opening corners, which dropped him two places. In a subdued race, where overtaking was limited, Aiden struggled to make his way through the traffic and ended the opening 16-lap race in 12th place.
The second race was stopped after an accident on the opening lap for Dan Lloyd’s MG. Aiden had already made progress and began the restart one row higher up the grid, having made up to 10th from his original starting position of 12th in less than a lap! Despite a clash with fellow Mercedes-Benz A-Class racer Adam Morgan, Aiden took home a ninth-place finish in a car that lost its edge after the knock with Morgan. The race was red-flagged a second time after an accident on lap six and the lack of racing laps also conspired against Aiden being able to make more progress up the field.
Aiden, yet again, missed out on the reverse grid draw and started the final race from ninth on the grid and blasted up the order on the opening lap. However, Aiden’s bravery was soon tested as after two laps his car developed a vibration. With speeds at Thruxton approaching 150mph, Aiden waited for a tyre to go bang, but his bravery kicked in and he continued in the leading pack. Aiden ran in the leading group, attacking for position and defending strongly with a mix of front and rear-wheel drive cars around him and with cars of differing weights meaning that the advantages ebbed and flowed around the lap. After 16 frantic laps, Aiden secured eighth place, just half a second behind race two winner Rob Collard.
“I don’t know what the vibration was. I thought it was a tyre and I was waiting for it to go pop, but as it was the last race, I thought I would push on for as long as I could. It never went bang so I am not certain what the vibration was but it made the car really hard to drive. Again, I feel that a better result went begging but we have no damage, I am qualifying better and I have always raced better than I qualify anyway, so three more points-scoring races are very positive. After winning at Donington, our expectations are high but you have to remember just how competitive this championship is. Last year, there were 12 different winners and there are so many good teams and drivers on the grid that getting points in a 32-car grid is a real achievement.”
Aiden is 10th in the drivers’ championship and sixth in the independent drivers’ title race, while Laser Tools Racing runs eighth in the independent teams’ contest, with the next races coming at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on May 20/21.