More silverware for Kiern Jewiss at Oulton Park
Kiern Jewiss completed another successful weekend in the Ginetta Junior Championship, finishing on the podium twice and collecting two rookie wins at Oulton Park.
Heading to Oulton Park in seventh-place in the championship and second in the rookie standings, Kiern was eager to build on his fine start to his debut year. The first practice session of the weekend on Friday saw Kiern get off to a flying start, posting a 1:44.528 timed lap that placed him in second place and just 0.025 seconds off the session leader.
Qualifying saw Kiern again looking very fast, running at the top end with a good chance of returning pole position. However, an unusual situation stopped Kiern from improving on his best timed lap. Seeing the marshal holding a stationary checkered flag earlier than expected, Kiern instinctively backed off. What Kiern did not know is that the flag had not actually been dropped and the flag bearer was waiting for the time to expire before beginning to wave. This confusion meant Kiern lost his chance of claiming pole position as a handful of drivers were able to go faster when the track was at its fastest.
Kiern’s fastest time was enough to see him qualify fifth for race one and his second fastest for fourth place in race two – a good result but one Kiern felt he could have easily beaten. “I saw the flag and I slowed down. Next time I’m just going to keep my foot to the floor!” said the 14-year-old jokingly.
Sunday played host for both the weekend’s races and race one got off to a dramatic start. Kiern, lined up in 5th place, got off to a good start but it was what happened in front that gave Kiern a golden opportunity. Second, third and fourth all came together heading down the straight, spinning one driver and opening the door for Kiern to sail straight through into second place!
Kiern, struggling with grip in the early stages, was being caught by the third-place driver and
very maturely did not fight his onrushing competitor – to preserve his tyres and prevent an unwelcomed collision. Having been past, Kiern’s tyres suddenly came to life as he set about regaining his position.
The narrow track at Oulton Park made the task of getting past even harder and despite boasting a quicker race pace, the 14-year-old from Kent ran out of laps before he could recapture second position. Settling for third place and the rookie win, Kiern was delighted with his performance and knew that fighting for second place was not worth the risk.
“I got a good start and was quick off the line. I got fortunate with the incident in front and that created a nice gap for me to go into P2. I think we got the tyre pressures a little bit wrong as I struggled at the start of the race for grip but after I got past, the car just came to life! I’m really happy to be back on the podium and to take another rookie win.”
The second race of the weekend saw Kiern start in 4th place and a fantastic start from the Kent-based driver saw him fly around the outside of two drivers and straight into second place for the second time on Sunday!
Now on the tail of race leader, Sebastian Priaulx, Kiern was getting closer and closer every lap but just didn’t have the pace on the straights to launch an attack for the lead. Struggling with brake-balance, Kiern began to fall back from Priaulx and into the sights of the trailing third place car. With little life in the tyres on the final lap, Kiern was working tremendously hard to keep his second place and entering the last corner of the race, placed his car in the perfect position to keep his runner-up spot. After the final straight, Jewiss crossed the line in P3 only to be reinstated into second after his competitor was deemed to have overtaken him off the track.
Back-to-back podium finishes and rookie wins marked another excellent weekend for the FM Conway-sponsored driver, now leading the Rookie Championship and placed joint-fourth in the Drivers’ Standings.
“I think that was my best start so far this year! I got off the line really well and was straight onto the back of Seb through lap one. I tried my hardest to get past him but just couldn’t find a way through. The harder I tried the more I killed the tyres so by the end was finding it very hard to keep my second place. A great weekend though, with more points and now the lead in the rookie championship, I’m chuffed and can’t wait to go to Croft!”
Head of MB Partners’ Young Driver Academy, Kieren Clark, reflected on another great weekend for Kiern.
“Kiern looked really good out on track despite saying he was struggling with braking and overall grip. Kiern’s driving style is getting better every race weekend and he looks so smooth in the car even when he isn’t comfortable – which is testament to his natural ability. Hopefully, we won’t have an incident like we saw in qualifying again and I honestly believe it won’t be long until we see Kiern get his first pole or first win.”
Next up for Kiern is a trip to Yorkshire for Round Five at Croft where Kiern will definitely be looking to add to his tally of four podiums and four rookie wins.