Aiden Moffat admits that he is closer to the front than he had expected after ending the TCR UK practice session at Knockhill around three and a half tenths off the pace of series leader Dan Lloyd.
Moffat ended Friday’s complete day of testing three tenths of the pace of Lloyd, and managed to largely maintain that gap on Saturday as lap times continued to decrease on the newly asphalted Scottish circuit
With the pace-setting Volkswagen Golf GTi having had much more development, Moffat admits that he is surprised to be so close to the front, adding that with further developments on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta he expects his pace to get only better as the year progresses.
“We’ve hardly scratched the surface to be honest – there’s a hell of a lot planned for the car,” said Moffat to TouringCars.Net. “We’ve improved the car a little bit but we know it’s going to get far more superior.
“The car has got so much potential. It’s just a bit of a waiting game with all of the updates that are planned, so we know it’s going to come good.
“We expected to be a lot further off the pace from the offset. Dan’s in the Golf which is a very well-developed car – it’s one of the strongest cars there is.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do and Dan’s got a lot of experience as he’s done some of the international stuff and been the BoP driver, and I’ve done nothing, so we expected to be quite far off the pace and we’re already there.
“Our aim is to make the car the best it can be and to get a race win come the end of the year. We’ve just got to keep focussing on that and if we get podiums along the way it will be a hell of a bonus.”
The Scot is also enjoying racing around the Knockhill circuit in reverse for only the second time in his relatively short racing career to-date.
“It’s surprisingly enjoyable – it’s genuinely some of the most fun I’ve had on a track. I drove here [anti-clockwise] about three years ago for one weekend in a Mini Cooper and I found it quite boring, to be honest.
“But in a TCR car it’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had – I could just go around all day on my own. Every corner is either sideways or on two wheels, and it requires so much commitment so it’s amazing to do.”
Moffat is optimistic of being able to challenge for a front row grid position in qualifying, although he acknowledges that Lloyd has to be the favourite with his form and knowledge of TCR machinery.
“It’s going to be hard [to get on the front row] – Dan’s team-mate as well has not been doing circuit racing for long, so fair play to him as he’s very quick driver. The team have got the cars dialled in. The car’s themselves are very strong, but you still need to drive the car.
“We’ve not put new tyres on yet and I know Dan was on new tyres in FP1 so we’ve not shown everything we’re capable of as yet.”