Cliffe ready to chase down Sowery
Following Toby Sowery’s dominant debut at Snetterton last weekend, the leader of the chasing pack Tristan Cliffe believes he has his work cut out to reel him in.
Following Toby Sowery's dominant debut at Snetterton last weekend, the leader of the chasing pack Tristan Cliffe believes he has his work cut out to reel him in.
Cliffe was second to Sowery in both rounds of the opening weekend, the first a distant 17 seconds back. But Cliffe believe recent history proves you can't read too much into the runaway leader of the first weekend.
"He had an extra fraction of a second at every corner." Cliffe said. "It's the tiny things - the magic and the muggles. The quickest person doesn't win the championship; the quickest didn't win in 2012 or 2013.
"I need to find something to keep him in sight but when things move to the tighter circuits maybe I can give him a run for his money. I want to see him thinking about his mirrors. At the moment you have to be realistic and the highest I can finish is second."
A visit to Silverstone is next, and Cliffe expects the one second a lap advantage at Snetterton to be exacerbated on the longer Northamptonshire circuit unless he can step up his pace.
The Omicron Motorsport driver will want to replicate his race one getaway rather than his start to race two, when he slipped to fifth on the opening lap.
"It was wheelspin." He explained. "My foot was off the clutch and it was just spinning and spinning and I thought if I dip the clutch now it isn't going to help so I just rode with it.
"Nick Robinson was on my left and Tony Bishop was on my right and I thought 'I've seen this view of Riches before' so I Top Gun'd it: 'hit the brakes and they'll fly right by'. I backed out and then got them back in one move at Agostini."
A safety car brought the field back together, and Cliffe was handed a half chance at Riches on the restart. He thought better of it, but he's pleased with his haul of points relative to 2013.
"The lights went out on the safety car and Toby stayed with it so I knew exactly when he was going to go. I stayed with him but me and Riches and overtaking aren't exactly comfortable. My bonnet was fluttering but I hung on gamely I thought. I gave him a better run for his money than yesterday.
"12 months ago I didn't have this many points on the board so we'll see what happens." He added.
F3 Cup's rounds three and four take place at Silverstone on 26/27 April.