Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat says he relishes the tricky damp conditions seen in the opening race of the 2019 British Touring Car Championship season, as he feels confident when the track is slippy.
Moffat was one of the drivers who took the successful decision to run slick tyres while the majority of the top ten opted for wets.
Speaking to TouringCars.Net, Moffat noted the similarities to race two last season, when he also gambled on slicks and had a shot of victory before contact with race-winner Senna Proctor pitched him into the barriers on the exit of Druids.
“We just had the confidence to take the gamble on the slicks – we did it last year – when we should have won,” said Moffat.
“And then this year, I’m always confident in those conditions. The car is always a bit out of control, even more so than we would have liked, but we took the gamble and I was confident.
“I think Jake [Hill] had good pace, it looked like he was able to work his car a lot harder, and kind of lean on the rear and generate some grip.
“Whereas we weren’t working the rear tyres at all, Chilton had better traction. I could have tried to push harder to live with them, but the points get you up there in the championship so it worked better for us just to try and hold on and fight for our position.”
With Moffat starting from 23rd after a difficult qualifying for all the Mercedes runners yesterday, he admitted his fourth-place finish was a great result, but noted the patience it took to bring the car home and stay out of trouble.
“With these conditions, you’re just on the edge and you’re trying not to go past that. A few times the car got too sideways, but that was because of the rears,” Moffat explained.
“We could use them again in the next race! Because there’s nothing wrong with them, they never actually came in. So on the back we were just kind of holding on.
“The other cars looked like they could lean on it a little bit more – you’re never going to have great grip in those conditions – but we would have liked a bit more.
“But if someone told us we’d go from qualifying 24th to finish fourth, I wouldn’t have believed them, so we’ll definitely take that.”
The Laser Tools Racing outfit are now running their Mercedes A-Class as an in-house operation after being run under the Ciceley Motorsport banner in recent seasons, and Moffat believes the switch is paying off.
“It’s brilliant, we’ve got the right people onboard. We’re doing the job well,” he said.
“We haven’t had any problems so I’m very happy with how we’re running it.”