With the first race of the season fast approaching, CarShop went to show support at the BTCC Media Day to get behind the scenes with Laser Tools Racing and their driver, Aiden Moffat.
Make sure you check out the highlights video at the bottom of the blog!
At Donington Park, the home of Aiden’s first win in last season’s BTCC, we managed to get a sneak-peek of Aiden’s car for the season, and had a chat with Laser Tools Racing Team Manager Bob Moffat as well as Keith Anderson and Chaz Cleland– all part of the well-kept machine that is Laser Tools Racing.
After getting distracted in the car park with the amount of gorgeous cars around, we found the Laser Tools team in the pits and gawped around the car before the unveiling.
Not forgetting about the other racers and their gorgeous machines too:
Tom Chiltern and James Cole with their Ford Focus RS’ – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher
Tom Oliphant and Adam Morgan with their Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchbacks with Ciceley Motorsport
Rob Collard and Colin Turkington with their BMW 125iM Sport in Team BMW
Just like last season, Aiden will be racing in a Mercedes Benz A-Class hatchback because, according to him “It’s obvious it hasn’t changed much – if it looks that good, why change it?”
And of course, the CarShop logo took pride of place:
The entire livery (graphics on the car) was positioned and designed by Keith Anderson.
But we know that Laser Tools Racing isn’t just about the driver. The team behind Aiden is so strong, involved and passionate, they are sure to do well in the new season.
Keith Anderson – Technical Author, but he’s all about the brand awareness
We bumped into Keith in the pits just after the big car reveal.
“My title is actually Technical Author,” he said before going on to list just how much he does for Laser Tools racing.
He’s been in the team from the beginning, 5 years and counting, and although he is meant to write instructions for things according to his job description, he does videos, interviews, social media, PR, press releases “and everything else.”
Not only is he the brains behind the livery of the car, he also designed “Lizzie Laser” and the suit Hannah was wearing on the day:
He said: “it’s all about brand awareness.
“I’ve been with Laser Tools from the beginning. We started it to get Aiden into BTCC” - and look how far they’ve come.
And when it comes to us…
He said: “I’m delighted when it comes to working with sponsors.
“CarShop are a proactive sponsor.” He remarked, which means we’re always there to watch a race or two, “And CarShop and Laser Tools just works together!”
Well, we’re definitely happy to hear that, Keith!
Chaz Cleland - Data Engineer a.k.a the laptop guy
Aiden’s Data Engineer, Chaz, was a fairly difficult man to track down as he was running about the garage with his laptop trying to download and analyse data from the car.
Commencing his second year with Laser Tools Racing, he sounded very positive about the upcoming season:
“We’ve had a few tests so far this year with a few days still left to go but it’s all looking very positive,
“I think we’re going to be strong for sure.”
When asked about what learnings the team have taken from last year to bring forward to this season, Chaz commented: “I think Aiden and the whole team took a big step forward in 2017, ending on a really strong weekend at Brands Hatch.
“Last year we changed a lot of our techniques in terms of preparation and the way the team works. It’s going to be interesting to see if we can start the year on a high and maintain that through the new team procedures.”
Chaz then went on to explain how a race weekend would typically play out for him.
“It’s busy from start to finish to be honest with you.
“Friday is a day of scheduling the rest of the weekend, studying data and preparing Aiden as best we can for the weekend’s events. Saturday is the start of the real hectic weekend.
“As soon as FP1 is finished we’re evaluating the car for changes before FP2, then straight again after FP2 for qualifying.”
He explained that qualifying is so important, therefore everything needs to be as good as it can be for that session. He said: “[qualifying] determines where we start for race 1 and ultimately how the race day goes on Sunday.”
Surprisingly, Sunday brings a calmer environment for the team: “Sunday is a little more relaxed, there’s not too much we can do.”
Chaz added: “but obviously, that’s when the real nerves start kicking in.”
Bob Moffat – Racing Team Manager a.k.a Dad
Laser Tools Racing has always been a family endeavour, and Bob Moffat couldn’t be more excited for the new season.
So excited in fact, that the flags for the truck were forgotten.
“It’s a bit stressful. This is the first time of the year when we get everything together.
“But everything related to the car is done,” he assured us.
After unveiling the A Class, he said: “People don’t know what to expect. They expect something nice and are intrigued with what we will do.
“Driving is important, but so is presentation.”
(Although Aiden said: “[Presentation] was the one thing left to focus on which [Bob] loves. It kept [him] happy.”)
When he was quizzed about Aiden he said: “We’re quite close – I’m his dad.
“5 years we’ve been doing this and Aiden is improving.
“He’s 21, a young man now and a lot more mature. He’s switched on but everyone else is getting better too.
“[There’s loads of] fantastic drivers and fantastic cars, but I think we will be fine.”
Any parent worries about their children, and in Bob’s case, he’s got a lot of speed and other competitive drivers to think about too.
But he said: “I’ve got no fears.
“The safety in the cars is fantastic. The couple of bad crashes last year [were a] freak thing.”
“My wife worries, she’s terrible. Donna is the most worried on the track side. But she likes to see Aiden smiling, and when he’s driving he’s smiling.”
And why would he worry when he comes from a racing pedigree himself? Aiden started racing competitively at a young age in “bangers” and before that, his father took part in the motorsport.
He said “[It’s basically] going round an oval and banging into people. I was Scottish champion for 5 years, but I couldn’t do what he does now.”
And the scoop? He said: “Aiden and I promised that we’d do a race together [in bangers]”
And we really can’t wait for that Bob!
Aiden – The face under the helmet
When it came to talking about the day, we pretty much got the answer we expected. He said: “Not great, the fuel pump in the car failed for whatever reason, and we’re not running yet.”
“It’s a media day to be fair, running isn’t the main point. The main point is for our partners and that’s our duty today.” Aw, thanks Aiden.
He continued: “It’s an easy thing to fix providing that the part is there… Which it’s not… Which is the problem.”
But you’ll be glad to hear that they did get the part after all and were able to do a few laps around Donington track before the test at Brands Hatch in two days’ time.
But we were here for the car! He said: “It’s always good to unveil a new car. Obviously it’s not changed that much, but it’s always good to get the word out there again and update our partners.” And trust us, it was amazing to get a glimpse of the A Class before the season starts.
Well, Bob was big on the presentation and the unveiling, so what did Aiden have to say?
“We knew that the car was going to be right. And I’m confident with where I am as a driver… so what was left to focus on was the presentation - which is my dad’s bit as the team manager, so he went wild on it.
“That kept him happy.”
Talking about his dad, what about the prospect of a family feud on the banger circuit?
Aiden said it would be cool to come out of retirement (so to speak) with the bangers.
He continued: “If [Bob’s] winning, he’s getting taken out, and I’m sure he’ll do the exact same for me.”
Ooo, this just got competitive.
“Nah it’s a bit of fun, I love the bangers. It’d be fun to go back and have a race with him and have a bit of a crash.”
And the plans for this season? Aiden said that they need to win more, but the big thing that they were focused on was the consistency as he said that was what they lacked last year.
He continued: “Those middle races with a tighter and more technical race [was where] we struggled with the car last year.
“We think that the changes we made should help in that area and give us a better chance in the championship.”
So, with that in mind and the first race at Brand’s Hatch next week, he said “we’ll give it our all.”
“[We’ll] focus on getting a lap together. It’s such a short track, that every tenth of a second is a big difference in start position [and it’s] so difficult to overtake around there.
“Qualifying is key to a successful weekend.”
The test circuit
Despite drizzly conditions and a fuel pump dilemma, Aiden was finally able to make it out on the track for a few test runs.
And here at CarShop, we can safely say we’re behind him 100% and can’t wait for the season to get under-way!
- On: 27 March 2018
- By: CarShop
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