Aiden Moffat scores first race victory at Donington Park
Aiden Moffat took his first win in the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park, charging forward from fourth on the grid to take the lead on lap five ahead of early race leader Tom Ingram.
Rob Austin started the race from pole position in the Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis, but found himself pushed out of way at the first corner by rival Toyota driver Ingram at the first corner, with Ingram assuming the lead ahead of Austin, with Moffat now up to third.
Front-row starter Jack Goff was dropping down the order in the melee, and was then forced off circuit in a incident with Team Dynamics Gordon Shedden, dropping to the back of the pack.
Moffat was on a charge and passed Rob Austin for second at the Old Hairpin on lap three, and set about chasing down race leader Ingram, who was running with the hard tyres and carrying 66kg of success ballast courtesy of his championship position.
The 20-year-old Moffat dived past Ingram for the lead at the Craner Curves on lap five and began to build a lead.
A lap later, Ingram was passed by the trio of Austin, Neal and Team BMW’s Colin Turkington, with Ingram struggling on the hard tyre, allowing the top four to escape.
Reigning champion Gordon Shedden was trapped behind Ingram and was unable to find a way past, with the 75kg-laden Honda eventually losing two spots to the BMW of Rob Collard and the Ciceley Mercedes of Adam Morgan, with Morgan making a daring pass on the grass on the main straight on lap ten.
On lap 11, Neal passed Austin for second, but didn’t have enough time to close the gap to Moffat, who went on to take the win by 1.5 seconds, with Austin completing the podium.
Two-time champion Jason Plato was an early casualty of the race, pitting with a mechanical issue with his Subaru Levorg, while the two Triple Eight team-mates of Dan Lloyd and Aron Taylor-Smith came together while involved in a four-car battle at Redgate on lap 13, with Lloyd running off circuit and smashing into the barriers.
BMW’s Colin Turkington finished fourth and picked up an extra point with the fastest lap, while Speedworks Tom Ingram finished a distant fifth, 15 seconds back, leading train of Collard, Morgan, Shedden and Eurotech’s Jeff Smith and Team Parker Racing’s Josh Cook.
Gordon Shedden continues to lead the championship on 56 points, two clear of Tom Ingram, with Adam Morgan third on 48.
The second race of the day gets underway at 14:37 BST, with Moffat starting on pole, and the hard tyres, and with 75kg of success ballast.