With a brisk chill in the air being supported by a stiff wind, the sound of the wheel guns were being echoed out from each team garage. The pit lane was gradually starting to fill with eagle-eyed photographers and journalists, tripping over one another like bees in a busy hive at any opportunity to grab sight of a driver or a car. It was the MSA Dunlop British Touring Car Championship Media Day at Donnington Park, and it hosted many firsts of the 2015 season for everyone involved over the next six hours or so. With all the main contenders present, it would be a first for teams to showcase their machinery in front of an audience, and for the drivers to show what they can do once at the helm of them.
CarShop’s fresh-faced representative was met at the entrance of the paddock by Laser Tools Racing team manager, Gary Allen, and from the moment of entry to the paddock there was an instant sense of consideration for one another. The British Touring Car Championship had been away for the winter break, with the media day acting like the first day back after the school summer holidays. Cautiously walking into the Laser Tools Racing team garage, CarShop’s Joe McKenzie was greeted with handshakes and smiles from every angle. Taking a look around, the team was full of pride and passion for the sport- highs and lows, every second was going to be appreciated.
On being introduced to Aiden Moffat’s father, Rob Moffat, Joe was introduced to more team members. The twinkle-toed movements around pit crew and equipment again revealed Rob’s excitement about the day and the season opener at Brands Hatch. Having a brief chat on the pit-wall before Aiden appeared to take part for the day’s timetable, Rob mentioned:
“He’s (Aiden) a tough cookie. He shows character on the track and is not afraid to get stuck in. For such a young guy, many think he hasn't got the bottle of give any (contact) back and
will simply let them drive by him. Not Aiden though. He knows what he’s got to do and what he has to do to get there.”
Rob then elaborated:
“Aiden shows maturity off the track too. He’s got a lot of time for his fans, majority of them being the ladies, but he isn’t in anyway arrogant about this. He’s focused on his passion for Motorsport but can find the balancing point to appreciate the social life too”.
On the revealing of CarShop’s sponsorship livery on Aiden’s car, Rob had a promising outlook on the partnership, stating:
“The BTCC circus travels all over the UK. Some of the circuits we’ll be racing at will have heard about CarShop before; others will not have. This is a great opportunity for some great exposure for potential new customers with the business logo being in prime positions on the car. Not only on the car, the logo is also on the team’s new outfits.”
Once Aiden appeared from the team bus and into the garage, it was all hands on deck. The car was now being mothered from the pit crew in preparation for Aiden to climb into and take to the track. But just like Rob had described, Aiden was walking around the garage, even walking outside of the garage to talk to the team, meeting fans, or have a quick chat with journalists. He was so calm and professional with the task that lay ahead of him. Without trying to disturb this focus, just a quick nod of acknowledgement was exchanged between everyone, including CarShop’s Joe, before he settled himself into the car. It was the calm before the storm as when Aiden got out on track, the lap times being set were those that couldn’t have been predicted, only wished for.
As the afternoon went on, the dawn of a new season could be heard echoing around the Leicestershire circuit. Cars thundering down the pit straight at 145mph creating goose bumps down every motor enthusiast’s spine. As the piercing noise disturbed a handful of conversations, another distraction was catching the eyes too. A build-up of people could be seen to start taking position outside the team garage. Without the team being provided with a monitor to display the team’s performance, nobody was aware that Aiden was showcasing his potential, and also the potential of Laser Tools Racing for everyone to see. He had managed to climb into a respectable 3rd place which totally took the paddock, media, and fans by surprise.
With rejoice being shared between the team, the weather took a turn for the worst and as the clouds started to hang over the circuit, the cold, sharp rain droplets fell onto the tarmac. With the possibility more likely for a crash to take place on the wet track, the team deemed it too risky to continue. As the first race of the season is being held a few weeks away, the garage shut its doors to the media and fans, and the crew closed up shop. A humble, but exhausted Aiden Moffat sat on the team bus where he discussed his performance and outlook for the season opener:
“It’s been a very productive day for us, despite the car at the start of the day not feeling quite right. As the afternoon went along, we made a few tweaks and managed to finish off the day third fastest. We were quick today but I do think we could have been quicker if I hadn’t had made a slight error on the second to last corner. It’s all positive though and there’s a lot to take away.”
CarShop’s representative thoroughly enjoyed the full throttle day and will be there to support Aiden Moffat and Laser Tools Racing at the first race of the season, taking place at Brands Hatch over the Easter weekend (4th and 5th April). CarShop would like to wish Aiden and the team good luck.
- On: 27 March 2015
- By: CarShop
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