MARVELLOUS MAIDEN POLE POSITION FOR AIDEN MOFFAT
Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat scored a first-ever career Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship pole position earlier today (18 September) after the Scotsman set a stunning pace at Croft.
Moffat became the youngest driver in BTCC history when he first entered the series at just 16 years old back in 2013, and it has been a lengthy but rewarding process towards this milestone moment for the undoubted talent.
MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square man Jake Hill is still searching for his first pole position after falling short by just 0.040s, although the Kent racer now leads the Goodyear Wingfoot Award as the best overall qualifier over the course of the season so far.
Colin Turkington was left pleased with third on the grid for tomorrow’s opener as the four-time champion ensured his Team BMW machine was ahead of a number of title rivals.
BTC Racing’s Senna Proctor topped the timesheets during final practice, but had to settle for fourth in qualifying, whilst recent race winner Adam Morgan (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport) took an encouraging fifth.
Tom Oliphant made it three BMWs inside the top six, as he edged out Josh Cook’s BTC Racing Honda. Such was the pace at the head of the field that the top seven drivers were covered by an incredible 0.177s.
Reigning champion Ash Sutton ended up eighth in his ballast-laden #1 Laser Tools Racing Infiniti, whilst Daniel Rowbottom produced a last-gasp effort to fire his wounded Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda up to ninth.
Jason Plato was tenth for Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing.
Gordon Shedden (Halfords Racing with Cataclean), Tom Ingram (Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com) and Rory Butcher (Toyota Gazoo Racing UK) were noticeable absentees from the top ten as the trio could only manage 17th, 21st and 29th respectively. Butcher suffered particular heartache as engine failure halted his session in the opening minutes.
Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will take place at Croft tomorrow with tickets still available on the gate. Those not in attendance can watch the action live on ITV4 from 1135.
Aiden Moffat said: “That’s taken some waiting, hasn’t it! I’ve been in the BTCC since 2013 and that’s my first pole so it’s special, a special moment. We had good pace this year and I can’t thank Team HARD, Laser Tools Racing, BMR Engineering, my engineer Dan and even Ash Sutton for the help he gives me. So it’s nice to get that long-awaited pole.
“Today I felt confident with the car the team gave me, so I wasn’t just chasing the car, but working on myself and not overdriving. Adopting the calm Colin [Turkington] technique – I probably should have tried that about six years ago, I’ve wasted a bit of time. The guys gave me a great car so I was able to focus on myself, the driving and the technical stuff, which is what made the difference.
“We know we’ve got a good car; it’ll be good for the races and holds the tyres well. So I think we’ve got a good race car underneath us as well as a qualifying car.”
Jake Hill said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. So, so close to my first pole – yet again – especially after Thruxton. But I’m over the moon nonetheless. We’re the highest-placed car with that amount of weight and the other championship contenders are a bit further down the grid, so that’s what matters. We’re driving well, I’m driving well, and the car’s behaving itself so I’m really enjoying it at the moment.
“I’m going for the win. Simple as that. We’ve got to just get as many points as we can, and I know the win’s on the cards. Especially if it’s going to be damp or wet tomorrow. I’m really, really excited to see what tomorrow brings. I don’t really care what the weather does, it’s fine as I think we’re quick no matter what – I’m happy.”
Colin Turkington said: “I’m in a very good place to start. Obviously, I held top spot for a while but I just got as much as I could out of the car on both runs. My fastest time was on the first. We made a change to try and improve it. The car was very much the same on the second run and I did the same lap time, so I think I achieved as much as I could. But we’re near the sharp end and I’ve given myself a good chance for tomorrow.
“We saved all our new tyres for qualifying and delivered the goods. But it’s never easy because in free practice you’re doing all your fine-tuning on slightly older rubber and just hoping you’re going in the right direction. So it’s nice to have confirmed that once we put the fresh tyres on.
“I wouldn’t say that I need a serious performance, I just need to keep scoring good points and outscoring Ash [Sutton]. We still have 12 races to go, four events. So although we’re into Autumn now, there’s still a lot of points there. It’s about trying not to be too greedy at this stage and chipping away. We know nobody walks away with this championship so we’ll just keep trying to collect points.”
2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Croft
1 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing 1:22.037s
2 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.040s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.122s
4 Senna PROCTOR(GBR) BTC Racing +0.132s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.149s
6 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.153s
7 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.177s
8 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.260s
9 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.293s
10 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +0.376s
11 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.401s
12 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.465s
13 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +0.506s
14 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +0.508s
15 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.536s
16 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +0.566s
17 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.592s
18 Sam SMELT (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +0.618s
19 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +0.636s
20 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.697s
21 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +0.809s
22 Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions +0.957s
23 Jade EDWARDS (GBR) PHSC with BTC Racing +1.182s
24 Jack MITCHELL (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +1.239
25 Jack BUTEL (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.282s
26 Andy NEATE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +1.913s
27 Nick HALSTEAD (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +2.956s
28 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading +5.223s
29 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK NO TIME