Cliffe happy with demon race one start

Omicron Motorsport’s Tristan Cliffe was delighted after the first F3 Cup race of the season at Oulton Park, finishing fourth after starting eighth on the grid.

Omicron Motorsport's Tristan Cliffe was delighted after the first F3 Cup race of the season at Oulton Park, finishing fourth after starting eighth on the grid. He made up the majority of his places on the run down to Old Hall on the first lap, with a fantastic get away from the start.

"That was the best start I've ever done!" Cliffe commented afterwards. "Everything just happened to work, I got the revs right, and the clutch engagement right, and I don't know if everyone had bad starts or mine was just really good, but it was phenomenal. I was up to fifth by the first corner around the outside and fourth by the second lap."

Cliffe admitted he was slightly disappointed to be eighth on the grid, but after a long winter lay-off, was pleased with his finishing position.

"I was a little bit surprised to be eighth on the grid, but I had a few cobwebs as I haven't done any testing so far. This was my first time in the car this year and you have to recalibrate your mind with what these F3 cars can do and it took a little longer than I expected, and I messed up my fastest lap as well. The aim in the race was top six, and I've achieved that."

He had a race long battle with Mark Harrison and Robbie Watts for the final podium position, just missing out by eight tenths of a second.

"Mark, Robbie and I were neck and neck, there was a tenth here and a tenth there, and one would close up or the other would pull away, and there wasn't much in it!"

Cliffe's Omicron Motorsport team have purchased a new car over the winter months, and are expecting to have the new machine running in time for the next round at Silverstone.

"We have a new car in London that's currently in a shipping container, but depending on how quickly that's released from customs we should be ready for Silverstone. The engine we'll be using is quite a lot lighter, around 20kgs lighter, and some of the people using the engines this year have been impressed by the weight save, and it has a bit more torque low down, which means there will be a bit less bogging down through the corners. Now I'm used to the F3 grip levels and downforce, I'll be able to take advantage of that a bit more and maybe close in a bit more on the guys ahead of us."

Cliffe will start in fourth place on the grid for the next F3 Cup race at 16.10 this afternoon.

Tickets for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship featuring F3 Cup at Oulton Park are available on the gate today (Monday 1 April) for £22 with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.