Two wins for Kiern Jewiss at Thruxton
Kiern Jewiss, in only his third British F4 race weekend, stole the show at Thruxton after taking two victories in the weekend’s three races to close the championship gap to just five points.
Finished every session inside the top-five places
Qualified in 4th place for race one and converted it into a race victory
In the reverse grid race, Kiern started 5th and drove through to win race two
Starting in 4th for the final race, Kiern finished in 5th place after a frantic race
A haul of 60 points keeps Kiern 2nd in the Drivers’ Championship, just five points shy of the championship leader
Continuing his strong start the season, that saw Kiern take his maiden British F4 win at the last round of the season at Donington Park, Kiern showed his intent in Friday’s practice session as he recorded the second-fastest lap of the session to commence his weekend in accustomed fashion.
As Saturday got underway, it was qualifying that commenced the day’s action and Kiern was looking the only real threat to Arden’s dominance so far through practice. Recording a 1:13.588 lap time, Kiernfinished the session in 4th place with his quickest time, for race one, and 4th again with his second fastest time that is used to set the grid for race three.
“The track was really hot which means you don’t get much time with the tyres performing at their best,” explained Jewiss. “This track is hard on tyres too.”
“I’m pleased with the result and happy to be on the second row. There’s plenty of opportunities to get a tow and fight your way up to the front on the field. We just need to make sure we can look after the tyres so we can be strong throughout the race.”
“As a driver you push as hard as you can in qualifying, but you have to remember that it’s an entire weekend of running so looking after the tyres is really important.”
Starting race one from 3rd place, after Simmons was handed a ten-place grid penalty carried over from Donington, Kiern got a good start off the line and was instantly battling with the leaders through the opening lap.
Making his way past Hoggard, Jewiss found himself locked in a battle for victory with poleman DennisHauger through the opening stages of the race. Putting the pressure on Hauger, Kiern eventually found a way past and into the lead of the race.
With the tow playing a crucial role at Thruxton, Kiern couldn’t break the slipstream and, on lap eight, fell back behind Hauger into second place but Kiern refused to give up.
The FM-Conway-sponsored youngster played a tactful race and left it until the last lap to pounce to reduce the chance of getting overtaken again. Getting the run on Hauger down Brooklands and into the final chicane, Kiern surged past Hauger before the heavy braking zone and Hauger immediately tried to retaliate, but braked on the grass, sliding into Kiern and the two drivers made contact.
Escaping the incident damage-free, Kiern maintained momentum through the chicane to take the chequered flag and record his second race win of the season!
“I knew as long as he didn’t pull away from me all I had to do was stay calm,” said Jewiss. “I had a big enough gap behind me which meant that I didn’t have to worry too much about defending and I could focus on how I was going to get into the lead.”
“It was a long race and I had a long time to think about how I would pull off an overtake and manage my race.”
“I could see that Hauger was sliding around and using up his tyres. That was perfect for me because I felt I was able to manage my tyres better. I drove smoothly while keeping him under pressure.”
“I gave the overtake a go on the penultimate lap and lost a bit of momentum so I gave it my all on the last lap to give myself a chance to get by at the very end. Hauger got on the grass, hit the brakes and made contact with the rear of my car.”
“Big thanks to Double R Racing, FM Conway, HCL and MB Partners for making this possible. We’re trying to score as many points as we can and hopefully we can come away from this weekend leading the championship.”
Starting from 5th place for the reverse grid race of the weekend, Kiern got a good start off the line again and moved himself into 4th place before the safety car was brought out to recover two stranded cars caught up in a lap one incident.
At the restart, Kiern found himself in the right place at the right time as Simmons and Pasma battled for position. As the two tangled, Kiern narrowly avoided them and took advantage of their battle and flew past into second place – hunting down race leader, Doohan.
Another safety car came out on lap six and on the lap eight restart, Kiern held his second place and tried to keep on the tail of Doohan. As Doohan pushed hard, Kiern looked to have settled for second place and eased off.
As the last lap started, Kiern was given a huge stroke of luck as Doohan’s engine overheated in the Thruxton sun and he began to lose power. Kiern then caught Doohan and passed him to take the lead of the race and held on to take the win by over three seconds to lead a Double R one-two.
“To get this win is something of a bonus for us,” said Jewiss. “If we can get three wins then we win the Ford Triple Crown so we’ll be pushing incredibly hard in the final race. This was a brilliant race. I stayed calm and collected throughout. There was a bit of contact between Simmons and Pasma, but I just managed to get away unscathed.”
With the £10,000 Ford Triple Crown Award in his sights, given to the driver who wins all three races at a meeting, Kiern came out the blocks fighting from his 4th place starting place.
Getting a good start, Kiern made his way up to third place but a scrappy opening lap saw several drivers fighting for position and Kiern was caught up in the battle and fell back to 5th place.
Fighting his way back up the order to 3rd, the fighting didn’t ease and drivers were pushing to the limit in the final race of the weekend. Kiern then fell back to 5th place, fought back up to 3rd but then fell back down the order to 6th.
With drivers’ in front of Kiern fighting frantically, Kiern stayed away of any drama and brought his car home in one piece to finish the final race of the weekend in 5th place.
“That wasn’t my best race, I feel I made too many mistakes trying to push for the win. I lost a lot of time caught up in scrappy fights in the first half of the race and after that, I knew it was safer to stay behind and pick up the points.”
“Pushing for a higher position would have been stupid and dangerous with the battles that were going on ahead of me so I was more than happy to sit behind. Overall, it’s been a brilliant weekend, two wins and sixty points, so hopefully, we can continue fighting like this every round and get the championship lead.”
Next up for Kiern is round four of the season at Oulton Park (9th – 10th June) and Kiern heads there 2nd in the Drivers’ Championship with 148 points and just 5 points behind championship leader, Ayrton Simmons.