Aiden Moffat admitted he was “shocked” to qualify on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton, but says the Mercedes A-Class felt strong on Saturday.
The result was the Laser Tools Racing driver’s first visit to the front row through qualifying in his BTCC career, ending the 30-minute session just 0.033s adrift of pole-sitter, Tom Ingram.
“I’m happy with that”, Moffat told The Checkered Flag after securing a front row spot. “It felt a good lap.
“We were fourth but dropped down to 10th, even though I thought the lap was quicker. I expected then to jump a few places but only maybe to seventh or eighth.
“When they told me P2 I was a little bit shocked, but it was a nice surprise definitely.”
The young Scot admitted that nothing was left on the table in his qualifying run, saying that the Mercedes A-Class was comfortable with a loose rear end.
“It’s a little on the edge”, Moffat admitted. “It could be more stable in fact, but that’s just my driving style; I like the car to be a little bit more unstable, as it makes me feel more comfortable with control of the car. It actually makes it that bit easier to point it in the right direction.”
Moffat claimed his first BTCC podium finish last season at his home circuit in Knockhill, something that he hopes to repeat in Sunday’s action at Thruxton.
“We’ve started from the front row before, but that was in a reverse grid so to achieve that kind of pace in qualifying shows just how good the Mercedes is, how good our team is and shows after all that we can drive the bl**dy thing!”
When discussing race pace ahead of three tricky Sunday races, Moffat added: “The pace was good, but the car of Adam [Morgan] had a tyre failure when he was doing the race run in practice. Our race run ended two laps early, so there’s a lot of work to be done. But, that’s the same for everybody around here.”