The midway mark

The halfway point of the F3 Cup season came and went at round five at Brands Hatch last weekend and it is showing all the signs of going down to the wire once again.

The halfway point of the F3 Cup season came and went at round five at Brands Hatch last weekend and it is showing all the signs of going down to the wire once again.

Three drivers are now firmly locked in a fight for the title, and as the season draws towards the closing stages their collective consistency is making it near impossible for one to break free and build a commanding lead.

The early season form of three wins in the opening four races for ex-GP3 racer Alice Powell has shown itself as a slender eight point lead from Alex Craven. The BRDC Rising star and 2010 Formula Renault BARC champion has finished in the top four in every race this season, although round five was her first weekend without a win all season.

Championship rival Alex Craven may have only one win to his name this year, but he's not finished lower than fourth all year either. Six second places and his Brands Hatch Indy win have ensured the Lanan Racing man is right on Powell's tail with eight races to go.

Tristan Cliffe has thrust himself into title contention thanks to three wins in four races, including a double win last time out at Brands Hatch. He's well poised 35 points back from Powell despite beginning the season at Oulton Park in last season's car and only taking delivery of his new Dallara F307 Mugen Honda days before round two at Silverstone. The Omicron squad are squeezing impressive pace out of the car and they'll believe there's plenty of time to bridge that gap.

If Louis Hamilton-Smith had entered every round this season he too would be well in the mix. The Brackley-based racer has been on the podium after every race he's finished this season, with three seconds, two thirds and even his non-finish was from a promising third place.

Enigma driver Henry Chart would too be in the leading pack but for mechanical gremlins and part issues. He started the season in fine form and was the first driver to beat Powell. He was fighting for a double win at Silverstone before a blown engine ended his afternoon and forced him to miss the round at Brands Hatch Indy.

Dave Karaskas leads the Trophy 07 Class from Olly Rae, whose struggle to make the grid has denied not only the Trophy Class but also the front of the grid a competitive challenger. Rae dragged his Dallara F301 into the top six in both races at Silverstone, the only round he's entered due to issues with his car, and Karaskas himself has been in and around the top six for much of the season.

Mark Harrison and Robbie Watts have shared good points hauls this season and been embroiled in great fights, joined by Stuart Wiltshire, Nick Robinson and James Cross at times and ensured the close racing continues right through the grid.

F3 Cup moves on to Silverstone next on 17/18 August for the second visit to Northamptonshire of the season. Alice Powell and Henry Chart shared the wins back in April, when the latter's engine troubles interrupted a great battle for the lead in race two. Tristan Cliffe is the form man, but the likes of Alice Powell, Alex Craven and Louis Hamilton-Smith will be going all out to halt his run into the second half of the season.