A triple podium weekend for Jewiss at Croft
They often say that good things come in three’s and that was certainly the case for Kiern Jewiss this weekend, after he delivered a faultless performance to record three podium finishes and three rookie wins.
The weekend at Croft marked the midway point on the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship and young Jewiss reaffirmed his place as one of the series’ leading contenders with a triple of P2 finishes across the two days.
Despite being the first time that the 14-year old had competed at the Yorkshire circuit, Kiern was quick to display his one-lap pace in qualifying – spending the entire duration of the session vying for pole position at the top of the leader board. A fastest lap-time of 1:49.337 was enough for the Kent-based youngster to start the weekend’s first race from the front row in P2, while his second fastest lap-time meant he would start Saturday’s second race from fourth.
Persistent rainfall throughout the morning meant that the weekend’s first race took place in very wet conditions. Kiern battled well off the line to hold onto second place and, after a few early challenges from Tom Gamble, managed to break the tow and pull away. Despite his best efforts, Kiern was unable to push for the top spot but a faultless performance saw him cross the line in second more than six seconds ahead of his nearest challenger, claiming yet another rookie win.
As the sun started to break through, the second and final race of the day enjoyed slightly drier conditions. Starting from the second row in fourth, Kiern enjoyed a strong start as he looked to make his way into the podium positions. Setting his sights on the tails of Tom Gamble and Douglas Motorsport teammate, Daniel Harper, Kiern enjoyed strong progress in the opening laps. While race leader Sebastian Priaulx pulled away at the front, Kiern was able to leapfrog both Harper and Gamble as he recorded his second P2 finish of the day and with it, his second rookie win as well.
Buoyed by his performance the day before, Kiern returned to the track on Sunday in confident mood as he searched for his maiden race win. Starting on the front row in P2 alongside Priaulx, Kiern made an excellent start staying right on the tail of the #11 car through the opening lap. A short safety car period meant that the Kent-based youngster lost his P2 position momentarily to Gamble before a mad rush to the flag followed.
Gamble got a storming run into Tower and snatched the lead, pulling Jewiss through with him, into second and demoting Priaulx down to third. As the pack headed into the hairpin for the final time, there were no less than six cars locked in a drag race to the line. Holding his nerve excellently, Kiern crossed the line in second, for the third consecutive race, just three tenths behind race-winner Gamble.
An excellent weekend for Kiern brought a triplet of rookie wins and podium finishes as he climbs to 3rd in the overall Drivers’ Standings cutting the gap to Championship leader to Tom Gamble to a mere 54 points. In the Rookie’s Standings, Kiern now holds an impressive 88-point lead over his nearest challenger.
Both Kiern and the Head of the MB Partners Young Driver Academy, Kieren Clark, reflected positively on another excellent weekend the Douglas Motorsport driver:
“It has been another great weekend for me and the team – one which I’ve enjoyed from start to finish. I pushed Seb as hard as I could in the first two races but I couldn’t quite make up the ground. I’m a little frustrated I haven’t managed to grab the first win yet but I know it is around the corner. More importantly, I’ve claimed another position in the standings and have got a good lead in the Rookie Championship as we head into the summer break.”
“What a first half to the season Kiern has had! With the late decision to move into Ginetta’s, we knew that we would improve as the year progressed but he’s managed to surpass our expectations. It just goes to prove how talented he really is. Most importantly for me this weekend was his consistency. Back-to-back-to-back P2 finishes and rookie wins is mightily impressive. Kiern can reflect on an excellent first half of the year with even more to come when he gets back to it at the end of July at Snetterton.”