British Touring Car Championship race winner Aiden Moffat expects the new-for-2018 TCR UK Series to enjoy a period of strong growth as it prepares for its inaugural event at Silverstone this weekend [30th March/1st April].
Moffat – who will contest a dual campaign in the series with Laser Tools Racing behind the wheel of a newly-built Alfa Romeo Guilietta TCR – has briefly tested the car in Italy but otherwise enters the weekend with no previous experience in the category.
He will partner former Infiniti BTCC driver Derek Palmer Jr.
“I think it’s something that will take off, to be honest,” said Moffat.
“I think it will be a good championship with a great variety of cars and it seems to be very competitive and fair. Certainly at the international level, although it’s in its first year in the UK. I think it will be a great championship to be involved in.”
The 21-year old will also retain his race engineer as at BTCC meetings, though clashing commitments have led to some revision of his support team.
“There’s some small personnel changes within the team, mechanic wise, it’s nothing to do with replacement.
“The guys I had, great friends from back home, one had a lot of work commitments and the other wanted to start a new business venture of his own and it would have been stupid of him to stay involved with us as he’s got a great opportunity.
“He’s focusing on that and rightly so. Nothing’s really happened, we’ve obviously brought some new guys in and have been working with them in the pre-season and we’re getting on really well.
“Other than that, not much has changed within the team. We’ve updated the car a bit, and made some changes with the guys at Ciceley and the engineers at Hexathron Racing Systems, who have been flat out. The car feels really good.
“We’ll have the same engineer in TCR, so it feels like it was meant to be and it worked out nicely.”
The Dalkeith racer also highlighted the importance of gathering experience in as many different cars as possible to maximise his chances of racing professionally in the future.
“Of course, more racing is more experience. The car’s handle very differently, but if you want to pursue a career in racing you need to build it up. Some people might look at it and think it’s a bad move because it’s two different cars all the time, but it’s something you need to learn if you want to pursue a career in this game. I’m confident and I think we can do well in both championships.
“The Alfa Romeo is running well – they’ve not won any championships so far but the cars have been being developed so it’s a bit of an unknown with the car. It’s an unknown with the team as well, as it’s not our touring car team running it, it’s just running under the Laser Tools Racing banner, so that’s another unknown. But I’m confident and I’m sure they’ll put a great car together and hopefully we have an opportunity to challenge for the title.
“In the TCR car we had one go in Italy in October – it wasn’t even a full day, it was just a couple of shots on that day and that was it, so we’ll have to see what happens. My car is a brand new car that’s been built, so I will be pretty much the same as I was on the test day. I’m sure it will be fine.”