Tough but good session for poleman Cliffe

After a frenetic qualifying, Tristan Cliffe claimed pole on his home circuit to make it eight poles in a row.

After a frenetic qualifying, Tristan Cliffe claimed pole on his home circuit to make it eight poles in a row.

The Omicron racer admitted the close front few and impending rain made the session difficult, but the decision to stay out as the spits of rain fell was vindicated by the 0.160 seconds he lapped the Norfolk circuit quicker than Powell.

"Brands GP I seemed to have a reasonable cushion but they seem to be whittling it away. A second and a half, less than a second and now barely two-tenths.

"It was tough. The wind and rain didn't help as you really had to concentrate and ignore the rain drops on your visor. Everybody had apparently come in and I just thought if I can keep the speed up and keep some heat in the tyres maybe the track will come back to me and it did."

David Scott was fastest early on and he, Cliffe, Powell and Craven traded fastest times before the rain fell. 

"It was mildly frustrating seeing your pit board with a time to beat saying P2 or P3. I'd beat that time and still be P2 or P3, constantly chasing Alice. It was a good session, we ended up a second and a half clear of everyone and David Scott in a surprise third."

"I think it's going to be between me and Alice, she seems to be on form. May the best person win."

One point is awarded for claiming pole position, edging him ever so slightly closer to championship leader and Mark Bailey Racing driver Alice Powell. Rain and the rest of the top six will need to offer him a helping hand to reel her in, Cliffe believes.  

"It's 25 points now before dropped scores but a point here and there isn't going to do it. If she keeps finishing second to me it's going to be really, really tough. I need a bit of outside assistance, I need Louis, Alex or David to get into the mix. Or, and I don't want to wish ill on her but a retirement or two might help me. Mark Bailey Racing know how to run a reliable car most of the time so I think we've got to keep scrapping around with three points and maybe the odd six points."

"It's England in September so we can't rely on the forecast. I think Alice, Louis, me and Alex are much of a muchness to be honest. If it rains we'll put on the relevant tyres and see who comes out on top."

Race one starts at 16:10. Follow @F3Cup and live timing from TSL.

Photo credit Andrew Cliffe