Moffat’s breakthrough moment
Laser Tools Racing’s young pretender Aiden Moffat had perhaps the biggest rollercoaster ride of any driver at Knockhill. The 18-year-old has already grabbed headlines in his short career becoming the youngest ever driver in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship two years ago at the Fife venue, and he was to be the centre of attention again this time around.
Now driving a Ciceley Motorsport-prepared Mercedes A-Class, the Dalkeith racer has already had some standout performances in 2015, finishing as top independent driver in the final race at Donington Park back in April. “Donington was all about working our way forward,” said an elated Aiden after the news of his podium reached him at Knockhill. “It was quite different from today which was all about defending!”
Things didn’t start off well for the young Scot, as race one saw contact with the MG of Jack Goff send him spinning over the grass. This was, however, to be a step back that would ultimately bring him two steps forward, as a strong drive in the second contest brought him into the top ten over the line and the reversed draw put the local lad on the front row for the final showdown.
A solid start enabled the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes to hold station in second place, but it wasn’t long before the Honda Yuasa Racing Civic Type R of Matt Neal was piling on the pressure. A small mistake from Moffat allowed the triple BTCC champion through, “Making mistakes is how you learn, but hopefully we’ll keep it on the black stuff in future and not give anyone an easy opportunity to pass,” Aiden reflected. “It was daunting enough to have Matt Neal and Jason Plato behind at the start, then when I saw Andy Priaulx in my mirrors who’s a three time world champion it didn’t get any easier!”
Moffat’s battle with Priaulx was to become the talking point of the race, as the BMW driver looked to have the quicker package but the #16 car was defending valiantly. Eventually Priaulx made a move, but after the race it was deemed to have been under yellow flag conditions, handing the trophy to the hometown hero Moffat. “It’s a big thing for us, to score a podium anywhere would have been fantastic but to do it here with so much support is even better. We technically managed to hold on to the position, and especially after Snetterton where we had a big crash and had to sit out the racing, we couldn’t have hoped for a better result.”
Watch Moffat’s reaction directly after the race below, before the positions were reversed, and look out for another interview in BTCC Extra coming soon: