Cliffe watches fastest laps tick by
After Zolder I had to go to Ikea to buy another trophy cabinet. said the man who's taken away the IWI fastest lap of the weekend award from each of the last three rounds, Tristan Cliffe.
"After Zolder I had to go to Ikea to buy another trophy cabinet." said the man who's taken away the IWI fastest lap of the weekend award from each of the last three rounds, Tristan Cliffe.
"The winners' trophies don't really fit in an Ikea cabinet but the IWI Watches and the Sunoco ones for driver of the weekend do. Maybe for the rest of year I should just try and get driver of weekend and fastest lap." he laughed.
His IWI Watches trophy collection surpassed that of championship leader Alice Powell thanks to his 11th lap of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in race two last weekend. It took just 1:22.586 for him to get around, nearly a whole second faster than anyone has even done so in an F3 Cup car, beating the record set by then-Formula Two racer Kourosh Khani.
The third IWI Watches Fastest Lap Award in a row has come in a run of form the Omicron racer wasn't entirely expecting to have at the start of the season.
"It's going better than I expected it to. Once I knew Alex, Alice and Henry were entering I thought "This is going to be impossible this year, I'm going to be really struggling." That doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
"It's going to be close for the rest of the season but I think I've got about a second on them at the moment. I'd quite like to keep that so that's what we're trying to do. It's maximum attack at the moment."
The run of fastest laps, and wins that have since come his way, has brought Cliffe right into the title race.
"Alex [Craven] says he's not looking over his shoulder at me but I know Alice has noticed our speed and she'll react but then I can be over confident and pride comes before a fall. Rather than resting on our laurels, we've got to keep pushing and pretend we've been off the pace and we're desperately trying to get back on it. If we keep pushing hard in the right direction, with the right mentality and make sure we don't make too many mistakes we've got as good a chance as anyone."
Looking ahead, Cliffe is sure he can continue his run of fastest laps and keep filling that cabinet with IWI trophies when things move on to Silverstone in two weeks' time. The car that's taken him to within touching distance of the front two in the championship made its debut at round two, also held at Silverstone, and wasn't without issues. Data logger issues restricted power and in turn made it difficult to set the car up correctly.
"The first time I moved it under its own power was to go out in qualifying. There's not a lot we can take from Silverstone really other than which way the corners go. It's a little bit fresh for us, Alice has done the British F3 round and Alex and Alice and Henry have all done testing there in the not too distant past so I'm going there knowing it's not going to be easy. I'm confident we can keep up the challenge and try and get another IWI fastest lap in the very least."
Silverstone hosts F3 Cup for round six on 17-18 August.
Photo credit Nicola Todd and Jonathan Hatfield