Cliffe targeting runaway leader Sowery
As Rockingham and rounds five and six near, series veteran Tristan Cliffe admits he’s been impressed by championship newcomer Toby Sowery.
As Rockingham and rounds five and six near, series veteran Tristan Cliffe admits he's been impressed by championship newcomer Toby Sowery.
Cliffe's been the nearest challenger to the Lanan Racing youngster this season, finishing second to Sowery three times from 2014's four races.
"It's really good to have such a talent like Toby in the championship as it gives me a big target to aim for." Cliffe said.
"Obviously I'd like to be winning the championship with three wins at this stage, and would like to be gunning for the top prize, but in a sense I'll get more satisfaction from, hopefully, closing the gap than I would winning whilst everyone is suffering problems or getting used to new cars.
"I need to make sure I'm doing my job as well as I can, that could bring me to within three tenths of him and then I can pull my finger out and focus on Toby. Right now my focus needs to be on performing every lap where I should be."
Cliffe is heading to Rockingham with a double win under his belt from his last visit, albeit six years ago in Monoposto. Given the form of Sowery so far this year on completely new circuits to him, Cliffe doesn't believe it will give him too much of an advantage.
"Toby's talented and young enough that he'll know the circuit in three laps. Knowing the track is not the problem here, it's having the confidence to nail it on lap one and under the conditions and he's very strong at that right now.
"The car felt really good [at Silverstone], I just had to build my confidence in it. The pace got better and better and by the last lap I was finally ready to start race one, but I'm two sessions too late. My last lap pace was where I needed to be all weekend."
One championship Cliffe does currently lead is the Teams' Championship with his family-run Omicron Motorsport squad. Mark Harrison is certainly pulling his weight having aligned himself under the Omicron banner for this year, and Cliffe was full of praise for his team-mate.
"Mark has done a very good job, especially considering he only got his engine on the Thursday and fitted it on the Friday. His weekend was fabulous, and I think he's gone a second and a half, two seconds quicker than he's ever gone before round here. That's despite the fact Toby and I have been two or three seconds off where we should be. Effectively Mark's made up four or five seconds this weekend.
"It's all good points for the Teams' Championship and we're leading that now."
Harrison, like Cliffe, has been a winner at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Monoposto so the pair will be looking to strengthen their position at the top of the team standings when F3 Cup makes its maiden visit to the Speedway this weekend.
Photo credit Jonathan Hatfield