Poleman Cliffe not counting chickens
A mis-fitting seat couldn’t stop Tristan Cliffe from grabbing his first pole of year at the Brands Hatch GP, but he is expecting a Toby Sowery fightback when the lights go out.
A mis-fitting seat couldn't stop Tristan Cliffe from grabbing his first pole of year at the Brands Hatch GP, but he is expecting a Toby Sowery fightback when the lights go out.
Cliffe took pole by almost one second, with Sowery battling with Henry Chart and Louis Hamilton-Smith for the chance to join Cliffe on the front row.
"There's a little bit of a gap back to Toby but he'll sort himself out." Cliffe said. "Anything could happen, the start will be important. If I can keep Toby behind me then brilliant. If I can pull away, even better but let's not count any chickens."
Cliffe won twice at Brands Hatch GP in 2013, and claimed the lap record in the process. His pole lap was over one second faster but his focus is on the win first.
"Brands is by far my favourite circuit, particularly the GP circuit. No-one else has tested on the GP circuit so I'm at no disadvantage for the first and only race of the year. I beat my lap record but that doesn't count, we'll see if I can beat it in the race but it's very different.
"I'd love to turn it into a win. I go well here and I'm as confident as I have been this year."
With pole denying Sowery one of the extra points available and therefore just about keeping the Drivers' Championship alive, Cliffe's also optimistic about his Teams' Championship chances too.
"Mark [Harrison] struggled with his gears during that session and I think he'll fight for fourth with Lee [Morgan] in the race. Jacopo is improving with every session, he has the perfect approach and isn't trying too much too soon. He wants to be competitive and is getting used to the extra downforce. I think it will click today or tomorrow and we'll see him moving forward. To qualify in the top 10 though and beating Nick [Robinson], who's been doing this for a few years, is a great start."