As close to plan as possible for Cliffe's fourth win
The championship’s undoubted form man Tristan Cliffe added a fourth win to his growing championship presence in race one of round six, making it four wins from the last five races.
The championship's undoubted form man Tristan Cliffe added a fourth win to his growing championship presence in race one of round six, making it four wins from the last five races.
The Omicron Motorsport racer was quick to point out how tough it had been around the blustery Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, saying: "It was not as easy as Brands GP race two but it was reasonably controlled. It was even harder than qualifying with the wind, it was changing every lap. You go through Copse and you get understeer, then you go through Copse and get oversteer and then the next lap it would be balanced. You really didn't know how hard to push and sometimes you'd guess wrong so you'd go in slow and it turns out you should have gone in hard that lap. It was very, very difficult."
Adding to the conditions was the continued presence of the cars behind. First it was fellow front-row starter Louis Hamilton-Smith and then championship leader Alice Powell filled his mirrors after passing Hamilton-Smith at Stowe.
"Alice did well to keep up with me, she started dropping back slightly but kept the pressure on and I couldn't make a mistake. I had a moment in the Arena hairpins with a bit oversteer and braked a bit too late and locked a wheel into Vale and Club. Other than that it was fairly uneventful."
It wasn't quite a lights to flag win for Cliffe though it was close. Louis Hamilton-Smith got away first but it wasn't long until Cliffe was back at the front.
"There's no such thing as a race going entirely to plan but that wasn't bad." Cliffe said. "I got a little bit too much wheelspin but it soon hooked up. Louis is quite good at starts- instead of hoping he gets second maybe I should start hoping he gets third on the grid. Louis led into the first corner but he was a little bit too tentative through Becketts and Chapel onto the Hangar Straight and I was slightly less tentative. I got the run and got the slipstream and with the headwind the slipstream is worth twice as much. I think he knew there was no point defending and didn't even bother changing lines. He knew I had the run and was ahead before we got to the corner."
Cliffe's fastest lap means he'll start his seventh race in a row from pole in race two, but the conditions are still on his mind.
"It's so hard to tell with this weather, you still don't know how much is the weather and how much is the set up. We think the set up is good and the car seems quick. Another pole is good, but it's a long race and you need to keep your wits about you. We'll see what the weather brings, the forecast says wet but it said wet for race one which didn't happen. We'll see what happens."