Now that the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has ended, Aiden Moffat reflects on his first full season in Britain's premier motor sport series.
Ready to meet the fans
Well, what a year this has been. We started 2014 with a car, an engine, a Daily Mirror and Daily Record column to write, a few team members and a lot of work to do! We hadn't tested, we didn't have a formal entry and my dad and Mike were out looking for sponsors.
Here we are now at the end of the season as an established team in Britain's premier motor sport series who has made great strides over the year with fantastic sponsors and 6 championship points in the bag. We even outscored Colin Turkington in the Jack Sears Trophy! Oh, and a special organisers award for the way that we approached the season and in particular our professional appearance in the paddock.
At the wheel of the Laser Tools Racing Chevrolet Cruze
With an entry list of over 30 cars, we aimed to get a couple of top 20 finishes with improvements over the year, but we ended up with 19 finishes in the top 20. As we finished 25 races this year, this means that in 76% of the races we finished, we were in the top 20. The team and I are immensely proud of this for a first effort. Highlight of the year has to be the last round at Brands Hatch where in the 3 races we had a 14th, 12th and 16th. When you look at the quality of teams, drivers and budgets out there that really was an amazing day and I have to thank everyone at my sponsors, Laser Tools, and Ciceley Motorsport who have brought the car on so well for me. For a team in its first season of racing and for me in my first full season in the BTCC, that is pretty special and something I will never forget!
The lows of my first season? Only two really: Oulton Park and Rockingham. Oulton Park because I was unable to compete on the Sunday because of an engine failure when we were looking good and Rockingham because I seemed to have a large target painted on my car when I wasn't looking! Not really a case of 'what might have been' so much as a learning process that all drivers get at some point.
Everyone loves Aiden!
If I had to pick one thing that genuinely surprised me this season, it would be the genuine warmth that I have received from everybody involved in the series, including most importantly, you the fans. At every single round there was a huge queue waiting for me on the pit lane walkabout and a steady stream of people arriving at the garage to talk to me and have pictures taken with me. The organisers and other teams were also really nice to me but it is the fans that make the series what it is and so my biggest thank you goes to you guys and girls.
So what is next for us? Well, a lot of hard work for the 2015 BTCC for a start. I have a lot of plans already in place and we are moving forward with those. I am sure that announcements will follow shortly, but not at this second. Our aims for 2015 are to build heavily on our first year's experiences. We will be aiming to break into the exclusive 'top 10 finishes' club and score a lot more full championship points. In the meantime and as the season is over, I would just like to say thank you for all of your support and Merry Christmas everyone!
Reproduced courtesy of MJP Media http://www.mjp-media.com/articles/2014/our_team/16m.shtml