Hywel Lloyd takes pole as Toby Sowery nears title

Invitation Class debutant Hywel Lloyd claimed a comfortable pole in qualifying for round 13, but championship leader Toby Sowery’s Cup Class pole moved him one step closer to the title.

Invitation Class debutant Hywel Lloyd claimed a comfortable pole in qualifying for round 13, but championship leader Toby Sowery's Cup Class pole moved him one step closer to the title.

Tristan Cliffe almost denied Sowery the extra point but the battle was decided in the closing stages. Sowery now just needs to finish eighth to claim the 2014 F3 Cup title.

Louis Hamilton-Smith came on top of a similarly tight battle for fourth with Henry Chart, with Tony Bishop rounding out the top six.

Mark Harrison starts seventh ahead of Lee Morgan, with Stuart Wiltshire on the inside of an all-Gale Force Racing row five alongside Nick Robinson. Jonathan Weston-Taylor beat Oliver Rae to the Trophy 01 Class pole, the latter only setting four laps. Lee McCrumlish, the weekend's second debutant, completes the grid in his Masters Class.

The opening running was made by Cliffe, as Lloyd sat biding his time in the pits. He was soon up to speed and joined Cliffe in the 53s, and quickly assumed the top of leaderboard. Sowery too took a few laps to get up to speed, and chipped away at Cliffe's front-row cushion. He finally deposed Cliffe from beside Lloyd with his 20th lap, and Cliffe couldn't respond.

The fight for the outside of row two was just as close. Hamilton-Smith and Chart spent the whole session switching places in fourth and fifth, but Hamilton-Smith finally wrestled control late on in the 25-minute session.

Tony Bishop impressed, spending the whole of the session inside the top six. The Chris Dittmann racer finished just 0.3s adrift of the fifth-placed Chart, and was one of the few to continue to go quicker and quicker.

Lee Morgan and Mark Harrison fought over seventh, with Harrison eventually taking the spot. Wiltshire and Robinson lapped together and improved late on, falling one tenth shy of Morgan. Weston-Taylor took his first Trophy Class pole of the year, 1.2s back.

An overnight head gasket change for Olilver Rae allowed him to set four laps, before pitting with a mechanical issue.

Round 13 qualifying classification

  1. Hywel Lloyd - CF Racing - 53.151s (Inv.)
  2. Toby Sowery - Lanan Racing - +0.361s
  3. Tristan Cliffe - Omicron Motorsport - +0.467s
  4. Louis Hamilton-Smith - Jigsaw Engineering - +0.673s
  5. Henry Chart - Enigma Motorsport - +0.824s
  6. Tony Bishop - Chris Dittmann Racing - +1.196s
  7. Mark Harrison - Omicron Motorsport - +1.643s
  8. Lee Morgan - Grays Motorsport - +2.094s
  9. Stuart Wiltshire - Gale Force Racing - +2.199s
  10. Nick Robinson - Gale Force RAcing - +2.287s
  11. Jonathan Weston-Taylor - Stanwood Engineering - +3.548s
  12. Oliver Rae - Enigma Motorsport - +3.683s
  13. Lee McCrumlish - Stanbridge Motorsport - +6.908s

 

Click here for the full result 

Round 13 of F3 Cup starts at around 12:55. Follow @F3Cup for live updates.