Aiden Moffat sets the pace at Croft
Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat set the pace in a relatively sedate Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship free practice session at Croft, with the teenager’s last gasp flyer providing late excitement in the session.
Andrew Jordan, Colin Turkington, Aron Smith and Tom Ingram filled the places at the top of the timesheets in the opening 20 minutes of running, highlighting the potential in Ford, Subaru, VW and Toyota’s respective machinery.
It wasn’t long before BMW joined the party, however, as championship leader Sam Tordoff blasted into second. Croft has been a happy hunting ground for West Surrey Racing’s fleet of BMWs over the last few years, and Tordoff’s effort in the ballast-laden Team JCT600 with GardX 125i M Sport again proved the rear-wheel drive car’s value at the North Yorkshire venue.
A number of changes took place in the closing moments and it was the impressive Scotsman Moffat who claimed top spot with a 1:25.038s lap time, while the #77 car of Jordan held off Tordoff by just 0.077s to take second.
“It’s nice to put Oulton Park behind us and show that we’re in the ball park here straight out of the box,” said Moffat. “It’s very early days of course so we’re not getting carried away, but we’ve made a lot of changes to the car and it’s always good to immediately feel the improvements.”
Ingram was fourth while WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan moved into fifth, rounding off an encouraging start to the weekend for the two Ciceley-run Mercedes’.
“Seeing Adam up in fifth is also encouraging,” continued Aiden. “When one of you goes quickly you’re never quite sure, but both of us being up there hopefully means that we’ve collectively found something in the car. I haven’t spoken to him yet but we’ll look at the data as I’m sure there’s more time to find.”
Turkington held on to sixth with Gordon Shedden next up in the first of the Hondas. Smith could only manage eighth at the finish in his BKR VW, whilst Eurotech duo – Martin Depper and Daniel Lloyd – completed the top ten order.
All 32-cars took part in the session, although the Team HARD-run Toyota of Chris Smiley stopped out on track and had to be retrieved after the chequered flag fell.
Free practice two takes place at midday, which you can keep in touch with via the BTCC’s Live Zone and social media accounts. Qualifying commences at 16:00, with the entire session being streamed live via www.itv.com/btcc.
2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Croft:
1 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing 1m25.038s
2 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.026s
3 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +0.103s
4 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +0.113s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing +0.145s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +0.154s
7 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.296s
8 Aron SMITH (IRL) BKR +0.363s
9 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing +0.431s
10 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Eurotech Racing +0.457s
11 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +0.490s
12 Jason PLATO (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +0.497s
13 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.713s
14 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +0.726s
15 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club +0.772s
16 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +0.802s
17 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +0.806s
18 Robert COLLARD (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +0.903s
19 Warren SCOTT (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +0.942s
20 James COLE (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +0.965s
21 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +1.094s
22 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD Tuning.com+1.179s
23 Jake HILL (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +1.571s
24 Michael EPPS (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +1.590s
25 Daniel WELCH (GBR) Goodstone Racing +2.145s
26 Alex MARTIN (GBR) Dextra Racing +2.231s
27 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +2.246s
28 Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +2.347s
29 Stewart LINES (GBR) Maximum Motorsport +2.969s
30 Mark HOWARD (GBR) BKR +3.419s
31 Kelvin FLETCHER (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +3.745s
32 Chris SMILEY (GBR) TLC/RCIB Insurance Racing +3.842s