LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ ready for ‘strategic’ Snetterton weekend

21st May 2024

Two weekends. Two podium finishes. By any yardstick, it has been a successful start for LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ in the 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, and the team has no intention of easing off the gas as the third outing of the campaign approaches at Snetterton this weekend (25-26 May).

Following Aiden Moffat’s superb victory in the Donington Park curtain-raiser – after fending off a pair of multiple BTCC champions in the shape of Colin Turkington and Ash Sutton – team-mate Josh Cook maintained the momentum with a hard-earned second place at Brands Hatch Indy earlier this month.

From the shortest lap on the calendar, next up is the longest, with Snetterton’s ‘300 layout’ measuring just shy of three miles. It is a circuit that has been a happy hunting-ground for the Toyota Corolla GR Sport in seasons past, with the British-built Japanese hatchback achieving at least one podium finish there every year since 2020.

Cook and Moffat will arrive sitting fifth and sixth in the standings amongst the 20 high-calibre contenders, separated by a single point in the former’s favour. The 32-year-old Bath-born ace – twice an Independents’ title-winner in the UK’s premier motor racing series – reached the rostrum at Snetterton in both 2018 and 2019, and scythed through the field from 26th on the grid to wind up fifth on soft tyres in the final race last year.

It was compulsory to use all three Goodyear tyre compounds that day, and it is the same story 12 months on, adding an extra element of strategy to the equation alongside the success-based hybrid system.

Moffat has tallied eight points finishes at Snetterton in the past and claimed one of his best results of 2023 in Norfolk, although the track has not always been kind to him, with the young Scot finding himself airlifted to hospital nine years ago after an accident left him with concussion.

This season, the 27-year-old Dalkeith native is in a fine vein of form, and was unlucky not to record a 16th career podium in the BTCC when a turbo boost pipe issue forced him out of third position at Brands Hatch. Spurred on by that disappointment, he is fired-up to immediately fight back.

Following Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session at 15:30 – streamed on ITV Sport’s YouTube channel – every moment of Sunday’s doorhandle-to-doorhandle action will be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4, beginning at 10:50. All three races will similarly be shown on the ITV Sport TikTok channel, in the UK and globally.

Christian Dick, Team Principal, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ, said:

“We go to Snetterton with a lot of confidence off the back of the first two events of the season. Had it not been for Aiden’s misfortune at Brands Hatch, we would have been on the podium in half of the races so far in 2024, which in a series as ultra-competitive as the BTCC, is no mean feat at all. That kind of form is testament to the tremendous work ethic put in by everybody back at base, which is deservedly reaping rewards.

“Josh and Aiden are both hard-chargers who will extract every ounce of performance out of the Corolla, and it promises to be another extremely interesting and unpredictable weekend. With the circuit’s mix of high, medium and low-speed sections, there will be plenty of opportunities around the long lap to deploy and exploit hybrid, and when you throw in the additional tyre compound as well, tactics are likely to play a major role. We’re excited to get out on-track!”

Josh Cook, Driver, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ, said:

“We’ve had a strong start to the season in the LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ Corolla, and the second-place finish at Brands Hatch shows that everything is really beginning to gel now. It always takes a little bit of time to settle into a new team and car and get used to different ways of working, but things are increasingly coming together and it was fantastic to reward everybody with a trophy for all of their efforts – particularly at the end of such an enjoyable and hard-fought race.

“The goal for Snetterton has to be more of the same. We know the Toyota is quick there from previous years; with such a varied mix of corners, you really need a good chassis underneath you to be competitive – and thankfully, that’s exactly what we have! It’s also a circuit that I think plays to my strengths as a driver, and I usually go well there.

“There’s no question that it’s going to be a bit of a strategic weekend in terms of assessing which tyre to use when, and a battle of brainpower and wits as much as anything else, but that’s a challenge we are relishing. I’m really looking forward to it!”

Aiden Moffat, Driver, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ, said:

“Snetterton is a tough one to predict. We didn’t go there during pre-season testing and it’s obviously very different to either Donington Park or Brands Hatch Indy, but I’m feeling good in the Corolla and I’ve been quick there in the past. It’s an enjoyable circuit to drive, even if it’s always seemed to be a bit of a ‘bogey’ track for me for one reason or another.

“Being such a long lap, it’s very easy to gain or lose time, but as long as we can get the car in the right window, we can hopefully qualify well. We dropped from fifth to sixth in the championship at Brands Hatch, and while that one additional second of hybrid boost won’t make a particularly big difference, what will make a discernible difference is the lower activation speed at which we can deploy it – by getting on it earlier, we can build greater momentum down Snetterton’s long straights.

“I think having to use all three tyre compounds will throw a real curveball into the mix and will generate some fantastic racing, and just generally we’ve spent a lot of time since Brands working hard as a team on the areas where we know we need to improve – so hopefully that will pay dividends, too.” © 2024
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