First 2014 pole for Cliffe at Brands Hatch
Tristan Cliffe dominated on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit to claim his first pole of the year and keep his championship hopes alive.
Tristan Cliffe dominated qualifying on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit to claim his first pole of the year and keep his championship hopes alive.
He smashed his lap record set in 2013 by over one second and bettered his title rival Toby Sowery to pole by 0.8s. Louis Hamilton-Smith and Henry Chart were closely matched on the second row, and Morgan's good form continued with a fifth-best time. Oliver Rae improved late on to round out the top six and take Trophy 01 Class pole.
Cliffe was the man to beat for much of the session and was rarely off the top of the timing screens. He was soon on lap record pace, and his pole was all but secure when Hamilton-Smith spun off into the gravel at Paddock Hill with five minutes to run.
Sowery was made to work hard for a front-row start by Hamilton-Smith and Chart. But as Hamilton-Smith improved to within one-tenth of the championship leading Sowery he ran wide and into the gravel. The yellow flags effectively securing his third place.
Oliver Rae was the only driver to improve in the closing yellow flagged stages, jumping Mark Harrison in a very close middle order by overturning the mere 0.003s deficit between the two. Lee Morgan was comfrotably good enough for fourth, one second back from the front three.
Jonathan Weston-Taylor lines up in eighth place and second in the Trophy 01 Class, ahead of three newer Cup Class cars. Stuart Wiltshire, whose master switch issues from Oulton Park have been cured, claimed ninth, just 0.5s back from Weston-Taylor.
Jacopo Sebastiani's F3 Cup debut yielded a top-10 start ahead of regular racer Nick Robinson. The championship's other debutant, Geoffrey Hoodless, completes the order in his impressive-looking Masters Class March.
Round 11 qualifying classification
- Tristan Cliffe - 1:22.029s
- Toby Sowery - +0.827s
- Louis Hamilton-Smith - +0.967s
- Henry Chart - +1.151s
- Lee Morgan - +2.228s
- Oliver Rae - +2.743s
- Mark Harrison - +3.270s
- Jonthan Weston-Taylor - +5.210s
- Stuart Wiltshire - +5.808s
- Jacopo Sebastiani - +7.391s
- Nick Robinson - +9.741s
- Geoffrey Hoodless - +13.433s