Jewiss battles adversity to maintain championship lead
Kiern Jewiss kept his championship lead despite a luckless weekend at Snetterton where he failed to make the podium places across a race weekend for the first time since September 2017.
They say every driver has at least one unfortunate race weekend every season and for the British F4 Championship leader, Kiern Jewiss, the 2018 season is no different. A weekend that started with so much promise ended up being plagued with bad luck but Kiern showed his mental strength to still collect 12 points and maintain his championship lead to more than a victory away from Ayrton Simmons.
Kiern headed to Snetterton on the back of a successful test at the Norfolk track, which saw him finish fastest on both days prior to the sixth round of the season.
Kiern returned from the summer break the same way he had finished it as he topped the timesheets by three-tenths in the morning session on Friday’s day of practices. Kiern continued to impress in the afternoon session and, despite his session being cut short due a mechanical issue, Kiern ended the day confidently finishing just two-tenths off the pace on a set of used tyres – compared to his counterparts who were running new slicks.
Saturday’s qualifying saw Kiern have to settle for fourth, just 0.002 seconds shy of third place on the grid for race one but was latterly moved into third place when poleman Patrik Pasma was handed a penalty.
When the lights went out for the first of Saturday’s two races, Jewiss maintained third and was in a close battle with Hauger and Simmons for the lead of the race. With his pace evident to see, Kiern dispatched Hauger to take second place and began the fight with Simmons for first place.
On the next lap, however, Kiern was sent into a spin after contact with Dennis Hauger and was demoted well down the order into 12th place. Showcasing his race-winning potential, the FM Conway-sponsored youngster posted the fastest lap of the race during his recovery drive but ultimately missed out on the top-ten and championship points.
Race two of the weekend was the reverse-grid race and after his race one disappointment, Kiern was forced to start from the final row of the grid. Unsurprisingly, Kiern managed to instantly move forward from his 12th place grid start and had carved his way through to ninth by the end of lap one.
He then followed championship rival Hauger as the pair both progressed through the order and on the fifth lap of the race the Double R ace made his move to get ahead of the Norwegian and move himself into sixth place.
Elevated into fifth the next time around, Jewiss then grabbed fourth with a great move into Riches at the start of lap seven. By this time, however, there lay a gap of over seven seconds to make up to the podium runners. Kiern did not have enough time to reduce the gap and had to settle for 4th place and 12 points.
The final race of the weekend saw Kiern line up from 2nd on the grid but he was struck with more misfortune when he sustained heavy front wing damage on the first corner of the race. Trying to battle with his rivals, Kiern just didn’t have the downforce to remain competitive and pitted for a new nose cone on lap seven – eventually taking the chequered flag in 12th place.
Kiern reflected on a disappointing weekend at Snetterton but remained positive knowing that he had clearly demonstrated his race-winning pace once more.
“To be honest, this was the last thing we wanted to happen when we were travelling up for the weekend. After topping times in testing and a strong showing on Friday, we were expecting big things. Qualifying wasn’t too bad, there was maybe a bit of time left out on the track but overall I was pleased with how I got on.”
“The races, however, just didn’t go in my favour. I don’t think anyone was at fault but it was just a case of ‘wrong place at the wrong time’. I showed the pace we had this weekend, the Double R team gave me an amazing car once again, but the dice just didn’t roll in our favour – on to Rockingham!”
Rockingham Circuit in Northamptonshire will host the next round of the British F4 Championship when the action returns just two weeks from now on 11th – 12th August.