Race Diary 2016 Croft
Mighty Moffat makes most of difficult Croft weekend
Nineteen-year-old British Touring Car Championship sensation Aiden Moffat came away from Croft at the weekend pleased with his Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class, but frustrated by driving standards that left him with plenty of damage across the three races.
Aiden ripped up the Croft formbook at the start of the weekend by hustling his patriotically-liveried Mercedes to the fastest time in the first free practice session, bouncing back impressively from a frustrating weekend at Oulton Park two weeks before. “We put a new set-up on the car,” explained Aiden. “I like a car with bump-steer and once we had put that on the car it felt really good.
Aiden carried the optimism into qualifying but was left wondering what might have been as other drivers affected his session. Initially, Aiden’s first flying lap was looking good but the session was stopped due to a car having gone of the road. Once the red flags came out, on Aiden’s lap, he was forced to back off and try again later. That opportunity never came as finding a gap in the traffic was almost impossible as 32 cars packed the North Yorkshire circuit.
With a starting position of 20th for the opening race, Aiden knew he had work to do and he charged through the field, getting himself up to 15th place and into the points early on. More progress was made and Aiden was confident of a top 10 finish before Gordon Shedden’s Honda Civic ran wide at turn one and came back across the road, crashing into the side of Aiden’s car.
“The car felt really good and we were making progress and looking after tyre life. That hit did a lot of damage but the guys worked really hard to get me out for race two.”
Aiden would start race two from 25th on the grid but was soon carving his way up the order. “It took a little while for the harder tyre I was using to come up to temperature. I was chucking the car around like a Mini to get the tyres to kick in but once they were, the car felt great. I was two seconds a lap quicker than the traffic ahead of me, but with the time needed for repairs I wasn’t able to do anything to the set-up of the car so with more time, we may have had even better car.” Aiden guided the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz to 17th after a race full of action.
Poor Aiden was a victim of other people’s driving in race three. Run a wet road, Mat Jackson opted for slick tyres and skated off the road, only to come back on and clatter into Aiden in a copy of the crash with Shedden. The front left damage put Aiden out on the spot and he was left wondering what might have been, as he was 14th and in the points at the time.
“It has been frustrating with all the damage and most of our difficulties have been with other people’s driving not mine. The car has felt much better, we’ve had a good set up and I am very pleased with my lap times, so there are positives to take away from the weekend, but it really is frustrating when other people’s driving standards have such an effect on your weekend.
“We now go to Snetterton for a two-day test and then we race there at the end of July so I am looking forward to proving just how good the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class is and that we get three solid results before our home race at Knockhill in August.”