Zolder kerbs leave a temporary mark on front-running Cliffe

Tristan Cliffe had an up and down weekend at Zolder at the last round of F3 Cup where he claimed his first win of the season.

Mulbarton racer Tristan Cliffe had an up and down weekend at Zolder at the last round of F3 Cup. The Omicron driver won the opening race from pole before finishing fourth in race two despite being sent skywards by a kerb and suffering a compressed vertebra during the race.

"I out-braked myself on the fifth lap, hit the kerb, flew into the air and when the right rear wheel touched down it slapped the belly of the car down and my spine said "ouch". It knocked the wind out of me which took about three laps to recover. They talk about it in F1 how painful it is and it is not a pleasant experience: not being able to breath and having pain in your back." Cliffe said while testing a possible Omicron team-mate at Brands Hatch recently.

"I've had CT scans and X-rays but the doctor seems to think if I look after it I should be fit for the next race, so that's good. I'll maybe have a bit of physio and swimming and things to tide that over."

Cliffe slipped only to fourth, and once the race finished he had to be lifted from the car. The speedy work of the Zolder medical team earned the praise of 2012 Cup Class and Teams' champion.

"The medical crews in Belgium were excellent and I've befriended quite a few on Facebook and Twitter. They really did a perfect job. They got me out of the car very quickly with no fuss, they obviously know what they are doing and you can't ask for more than that. We go racing with these medical crews because they are utterly top notch, though I'm sure the British crews may be slightly better!"

While Cliffe is back mobile, his Dallara may need some attention ahead of the next round at Brands Hatch on the Grand Prix circuit on 27/28 July. But, it seems the damage is surprisingly less than at first thought and he expects himself and the car to be fit.

"The car seemed to be mostly working. The suspension was a bit deranged and it wanted to pull to the left, lock front wheels, rear wheels and generally didn't want to behave. We got it to the end; the car didn't let me down.

"There aren't too many things to repair on it, although we've got a couple of bits to repair on the suspension. The bodywork, the aero and the wings and things seem to have completely escaped somehow. There's the odd scuff but nothing major, we'll check for any tub damage but I don't think it will be too bad. We'll be out."

Brands Hatch GP hosts the next round of F3 Cup, when the championship supports BRDC Formula 4. Tickets are available to for £10 in advance with children 12 years and under admitted free. Click here to book.