Two trips to the podium stretches Jewiss’ championship lead
Kiern Jewiss fought hard at Rockingham this past weekend to collect a total of 43 points, with two trips to the podium and a fifth-place finish, helping him to stretch out a 45 point advantage at the top of the British F4 Championship standings.
- A short-cut first free practice was followed by Kiern setting the fastest time of the day in Friday’s second practice
- Qualifying saw a tight session end with Kiern securing 3rd place for race one and 2nd for race three
- 5th place in race one with Jewiss finishing behind championship rivals Simmons and Hauger
- Kiern made it 14 British F4 podiums as he finished the second and third races of the weekend in P2 and P3 respectively
- He now heads to Knockhill (25th – 26th August) with a 45 point lead in the Championship standings
Two hour-long free practices started the weekend’s action on Friday, with the weather providing a mixture of challenges for Kiern and the team. Varied conditions saw Kiern set a lap time of 1:20.399 on his first run but technical issues brought Kiern’s running to an end and he finished the first session of the day in 9th place.
With the car fixed for the second free practice, Kiern showed his potential at the track by finishing top of the timesheets with the fastest lap time of the day, a 1:18.655, but with the top five separated by less than a tenth of a second.
“It’s always good to finish the day on top of the timesheets. It was unfortunate we had the morning session cut short, missing the track when it was at its fastest, but we bounced back in FP2. It’s clear how close the field is this weekend and the Ardens look strong. I’ve been studying a lot of oval racing before heading here so I’m hoping that can pay off this weekend.”
Following on from Friday’s tight practice sessions, qualifying was a similar affair with four drivers all in with a shout of securing pole position. As the twenty-minute qualifying came to its conclusion, Kiern finished the session with a best time of 1:18.847 to secure 3rd place on the grid for race one.
Kiern’s second fastest time saw him collect a P2 starting place for race three at Rockingham, with a time just two-hundredths slower than his fastest lap of the session.
“I’m pleased with qualifying, it was another tight session and P3 and P2 are good places to start the races from. We knew we would have to be at our best in this qualifying, and I feel I got everything out of my lap. If we finish where we start then it will be a good collection of points so I need to stay focused in the races.”
The first race of the weekend saw Kiern line up from the second row of the grid and at the lights, Kiern bogged down off the line and lost momentum to his rivals around him. On the run down to the tight two turn hairpin, Kiern lost a place to Dennis Hauger and then title rival Ayrton Simmons, as Kiern fell back to 5th place.
Staying in the fight, Kiern remained close on the tail of his competitors but ultimately couldn’t find a clean way past without putting his points paying position at risk. Settling for fifth place, Kiern crossed the line to collect ten more championship points but lost two points to Simmons and a further five to Hauger in the championship fight.
“I got a poor start and paid the price for it in the race. I pushed the guys in front as much as possible and was hoping one of them would make a mistake I could capitalise on. We still picked up championship points and didn’t lose too much ground to the guys around me so I’m not too disappointed with the result.”
Sunday began with the second British F4 race of the weekend and the reverse grid race. After finishing race one at Rockingham in 5th place, Kiern would line the grid from the second row in 3rd place and hoping for a better start than Saturday’s race.
Getting off the line well, Kiern held his position on the run down to turn two but as he arrived at the hairpin, on cold tyres, Kiern locked up and made contact with Ayrton Simmons, who consequently collected Seb Priaulx.
Sustaining damage to his front wing in the contact, Kiern escaped any serious damage and headed out of the hairpin in 2nd place but with a pack of cars right on his tail. Losing pace due to his front wing, Kiern was having to drive on the limit in order to keep the quicker Doohan behind, which Kiern did excellently, never falling from his 2nd place position from which he took the chequered flag.
Carding a 18 points to his championship total, Kiern was later handed a ten-place grid penalty for his contact at the start of the race and had to start the final race of the weekend from 12th place.
“I got a good start this time but got caught out by the cold tyres and locked my fronts heading into turn two, which surprised me as I braked a lot earlier than I did yesterday. I got some damage to my front wing as well which made the race a long one. Fortunately, I did enough to keep Doohan behind and picked up my first podium since the summer break.”
In the final race of the weekend, Kiern was forced to line up from the second-last row of the grid in 12th place due to the contact in race two. Unfazed by the task ahead of him, Kiern got a fantastic start at the lights and was flying along the Rockingham banking moving himself inside the top ten before turn two.
However, contact between two Ardens at turn two saw Kiern have to drop the ankers to avoid the spinning Doohan and Kiern fell back down to the back of the pack. It wasn’t long, however, before Kiern did what he does best and that’s carve through the field.
Using all corners on the track, Kiern dismissed his early challengers and was up to 5th place by the end of the 5th lap. Now behind race winner Hoggard, Kiern patiently waiting behind as he scrapped with Simmons for 4th place. As the pair battled going around turn two, Kiern stuck to the racing line and carried a lot more momentum through the hairpin and swooped round the outside of Hoggard to move himself into 4th.
Now inside the top four, Kiern was on the brink of the podium places and only had Simmons to pass. Staying behind the Simmons, Kiern couldn’t find a way past without being pushed onto the grass so patiently waited for his opportunity.
With a trail of cars behind him and on the last lap of the race, Kiern sold a dummy to Simmons into Tarzan, forcing the JHR driver to go defensive into the hairpin whilst Kiern remained on the racing line. This gave Kiern the momentum heading into the final chicane and he managed to get a nose down the inside of Simmons. This forced Simmons to run wide and lose control, meanwhile Kiern steamed past on the final corner to take the final spot on the podium.
“I did what I do best and that’s to go from the back to the front. It wasn’t an easy race, Simmons made it very difficult for me and I did the best I could, stayed there, waited for him to try and drive me off the track a few times, accepted it, and in the end we had the last laugh”
“Massive thanks to Double R for giving me such a good car and of course my sponsors and everyone who came to support me this weekend. We really needed this set of results after Snetterton and to leave here stretching the championship lead is a fantastic result. Knockhill is next on the calendar and I got my first win in car racing there last year so it should be a good weekend!”