March 6 2015 Latest news:
Thursday, March 6, 2014
After the disappointment of missing out on the F3 Cup title for the past two seasons, Tristan Cliffe is hoping it’s third time lucky as the Mulbarton racer confirms his continued quest for the crown in 2014.
“We have had a good couple of years, but have just fallen short,” said the local racer.
“If we can carry the speed we got out of the car into this season we should be somewhere near the front.
“The likes of Louis Hamilton-Smith and Henry Chart will be quick though – all I can do is set the car up to be as fast as I can and then try to maximise that pace.”
The 32-year-old racer, who drives for his family-run Omicron team, has for the past two years entered the final round on his home track of Snetterton with a chance of taking the title, but has had to settle for second place in 2012 and third last season.
Cliffe recorded the most wins last season with six maximum scores and took all but two IWI Fastest Lap Awards for the driver who records the fastest lap of the weekend.
However, his season started slowly as his mount, a Dallara F307, arrived late and took a while to get to grips with.
The opening round of this season will be held on Cliffe’s home track of Snetterton in early April and if he can carry his speed from the end of last season into this year he has the chance to start the new campaign off on the front foot.
“The first race at Snetterton at the end of last year couldn’t have gone any better, but then in race two I touched a puddle of water and spun from the lead,” explained Cliffe.
“We were quickest at both Snetterton rounds last year and it’s a circuit I know well.”
Two years ago the team won the Teams Championship and they would like both their cars to contest the series and challenge for the title .
“We are putting a big push on filling our second car, which is the car I drove in 2012. We won the teams’ title that year so hopefully that will go some way to prove our pedigree as a team.
“Customers come first, and only when they are ready, happy and fixed do I turn my attention to my own car,” Cliffe explained.
“Last year was nice in a way as I could concentrate on my own thing, which has helped me understand the cars so much more, and with luck that means any customer driver would benefit now.”
The local racer hopes to use this year as a springboard to bigger and better things.
“I see my long term future as an engineer, so to win the teams’ and drivers’ championship in 2014 would be absolutely brilliant,” he said.
“But we need a second driver first so we are taking it one step at a time.”