LASER TOOLS RACING PROGRESSES FOR POSITIVE END TO CAMPAIGN
The Laser Tools Racing squad headed to Brands Hatch for the closing rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship ready to end the season on a high after a trying time at Silverstone just two weeks earlier and achieved just that, clinching four points finishes and a season-best qualifying performance for series rookie Dexter Patterson.
Little over halfway into Saturday’s qualifying session on Brands Hatch’s Grand Prix circuit, Patterson posted a lap which put him seventh on the timesheets, marking his first-ever top-ten qualifying position. Team-mate Aiden Moffat would settle for 19th on the grid for the opening contest, despite his flying lap being less than half a second behind Patterson.
Both drivers made strong starts on Sunday morning for the final race day of the season, but contact for Patterson’s Infiniti on the way into Graham Hill Bend curtailed his progress and he had dropped back to 26th by the end of the opening tour. Having made his way up to 19th, the 19-year-old was forced to retire with four laps to go due to damage from his earlier clash.
Moffat, meanwhile, was quickly in the thick of the action, battling with the Hyundai of Tom Chilton before an impressive move saw him come out in front. The #16 driver continued to pick off the pack ahead despite safety car periods preventing a real charge through the order, breaking into the points by lap 13 and holding onto 15th until the chequered flag fell.
The Scots both headed into the second bout feeling determined, with Moffat taking 12th spot by the end of the 15-lap contest after dispatching the likes of Ricky Collard and Dan Rowbottom. His stablemate would lose out in the opening lap, but made up places throughout to eventually finish in the top 20.
With the reverse-grid draw not looking favourably on him, Moffat began the final race from 12th on the grid but was into the top ten by the third tour of the 2.43-mile circuit. Running as high as ninth, the 26-year-old would finish P10.
Dropping out of the top 20 in the initial laps, Patterson was progressing by the halfway point and then quickly began narrowing in on the points-paying positions, with the rookie clinching 14th to draw the curtain on his maiden BTCC campaign.
“[The aim was to] go out, have some fun and finish on a high for the team, and it was a fun race day to end the season,” said Moffat. “It was nice to get a top-ten finish to end the year in race three [after] two points finishes, and massive congratulations to Tom Ingram for the championship win.”
“The car felt really good [in qualifying] and the grip levels were amazing,” added Patterson. “I just thought it felt right to really attack the circuit and [P7] was the result. I am really happy for the team.
“We showed some serious speed, it’s just a shame we found it at the last round! Our mega qualifying was quickly put to waste after getting hit wide on the opening lap of the first race. Unfortunately, that was us back to square one, but by race three we jumped back into the points to finish off the season! Thanks to everyone for helping with my first year in BTCC and hopefully there will be many more to come.”