Challenging Scotland trip for Jewiss
Kiern Jewiss fought hard and battled abysmal weather conditions in Scotland to collect 34 points and maintain his British F4 Championship lead at the eighth round of the season at Knockhill.
The weekend in Scotland started on Friday with three practice sessions for Kiern to test out the circuit in his Double R F4 machinery. Finishing the first session of the weekend in second place, just four-hundredths off fastest man Jack Doohan, Kiern then topped the timesheets in the second practice of the day. The final session on Friday saw Kiern finish in 6th place but the field closely packed together with Kiern’s lap time just two-tenths off the fastest time.
Finishing 2nd in the combined classification, Kiern remained confident after Friday’s practices and knew qualifying would be vitally important.
“The pace is definitely there in the car this weekend which is a positive sign but the field is so close that it’s going to be the tiny details that make the difference here. Qualifying is going to be crucial to a good weekend as it’s very difficult to pass around here, especially in a single seater. We might also be seeing some rain on Sunday so we’ve got to be prepared for that.”
Another extremely close F4 qualifying session saw Kiern record a best lap time of 49.116 which secured him a 4th place starting position for race one of the weekend at Knockhill and his second fastest lap time, which was a mere nine-hundredths off pole, meant he would line the grid for the final race of the weekend from 4th position.
“I’m a little disappointed with qualifying, there was definitely a bit more time we could have extracted out of the car but 4th place is still a strong position to be starting the races from. The main thing is that my rivals start behind me, so it’s about keeping them there and picking up more points.”
For the first race of the weekend Kiern started from 4th place and as he had earlier predicted it was extremely difficult to pass at the Scottish circuit. The top-six places remained the same from lights until the chequered flag, with Kiern not able to progress forward without taking unnecessary risks on a dry Knockhill circuit.
Pleased to collect 12 more points to his championship tally, Kiern knew it would be difficult to pass and was more than happy to settle for 4th place.
“It was always going to be extremely tough to pass around here, especially in the dry, and I was hoping someone would make a mistake and I could capitalise but that didn’t happen. We have picked up some more points and I’m looking forward to what the rest of the weekend will hold.”
As rain arrived on Sunday morning, the Knockhill circuit was drenched for the second race of the weekend in Scotland and Kiern lined the grid from third place for the reverse grid race.
Getting a good start, Kiern held his 3rd place podium spot for the opening lap before the safety car was brought out for five laps and when it returned in, Kiern again kept his spot inside the podium places.
However, with just seven laps remaining, Kiern lost out to Patrik Pasma as he ran wide and let Pasma down the inside into the hair pin, demoting Kiern outside of the podium places and into 4th place. Keeping his position until the chequered flag, Kiern crossed the finishing line in 4th place for the second time in as many races to collect another twelve points to his tally.
The rain did not ease for the final race of the weekend and with darkness approaching in Scotland, visibility was low. Managing to find great traction at the start from his 4th place grid spot, Kiern flew off the line and straight into 3rd place and was challenging for second before backing out of a bold move around the outside of turn one.
With Kiern confident in the car’s pace but struggling with visibility, Kiern was in a battle with title rival Ayrton Simmons. The two then had slight contact exiting the hairpin on the sixth lap and then on the next lap Kiern ran slightly wide at the chicane, allowing Simmons to get a run on him. With the loss of momentum, Kiern then lost another spot to Dennis Hauger and eventually had to settle for 5th place at the chequered flag.
“In that last race I think we had the best car by far but I had an issue with my visor and couldn’t see properly,” he said. “It was like driving in the fog and I had to follow the rain lights ahead; it was pretty impossible to see. It’s a real shame for the team because they gave me a great car and the end result isn’t what they deserved.”
Kiern now leads the championship by 31 points to Ayrton Simmons with just six races remaining in the 2018 season, with the penultimate round of the championship taking place at Silverstone on the 15th – 16th September.