Tough time taking pole for Cliffe

After claiming his sixth pole position in a row, Tristan Cliffe insisted conditions weren't as simple as his impressive time suggested.

After claiming his sixth pole position in a row, Tristan Cliffe insisted conditions weren't as simple as his impressive time suggested. The time bettered that of 2008 National Class F3 champion Jay Bridger's time from 2012 and it was Cliffe's Omicron squad who were the ones running Bridger then, making the time "doubly sweet".

"It was difficult out there today, it wasn't an easy pole. It was windy and gusty so you didn't really know how much grip you were going to have but that's the same for everyone. The head wind into Maggotts and Becketts down to Stowe it made the handling difficult as it became crosswinds, which become tailwinds. It's very difficult to find a happy balance with the car and you don't know how much of the struggle is set up and how much is wind, especially if you just happen to catch a gust that isn't helpful." Cliffe said.

Looking ahead to the opening race, the man who's won three of the previous four races appears cautiously optimistic.

"We haven't got any changes to make," Cliffe said. "There might be more after the race once we've got a bit more of an idea of exactly where we are in terms of long running speed. The weather is a big gamble: What do we do with tyres, ride heights, everything. It could all go wrong still."

His recent good form has seen him creep ever closer to championship leader Alice Powell and the second placed Alex Craven. Louis Hamilton-Smith snatched second from Powell with his final lap of the session, and that didn't go unmissed by the Norfolk racer.

"I'm quite pleased to see Louis there, obviously. Fair play to Louis, and on that lap it was my in lap. I saw him coming and let him through. I was thinking do I give him a tow? Do I make it easy? I thought he'll just make life difficult for me later in the year if not so I got out of his way. It helps me so I'm quite pleased.

"I need Alex Craven to do one of his blinders, I hope Henry gets a good start because Alice in fifth at the end of the first lap would be good for me. But, I might be fifth at the end of the first lap so let's not count our chickens too early."

Race one starts at 15:50. Follow @F3Cup for live updates here