First podium but frustration for Jewiss at Snetterton
It was a weekend full of mixed emotions for Kiern Jewiss as he showed fantastic pace all week before going on to secure his first BRDC British F3 podium on Saturday but an extremely unlucky set of races on Sunday left the BRDC SuperStar frustrated.
On the back of the opening race weekend at Oulton Park, where Kiern enjoyed three top-10 finishes, including two 4th place finishes, Kiern headed to Norfolk looking to build on the opening race weekend as the series arrived at Snetterton.
The week began with a two-day test for the BRDC British F3 field at the 3-mile circuit. Warm conditions set the foundation for some fast lap times and this was proven in day two as Kiern broke the British F3 lap record during Friday’s morning session. However, times continued to tumble that day and Kiern finished the day with the fifth fastest lap.
When the action rolled into Saturday, conditions were cooler and the grip levels had dropped significantly compared to the week’s test running. However, this didn’t affect Kiern and he continued to show the pace that had been present in testing during the morning’s qualifying session. Setting his fastest lap time of 1:43.687s, Kiern secured 3rd place on the starting grid for race one and was just 0.154 seconds off of pole position – with Kiern’s second fastest lap time securing 4th place for race three.
Race one saw Kiern get off the line well and hold his third place position, despite coming under pressure from the fast-starting Simmons. With Kiern choosing to save tyres for later in the weekend, the FM Conway-sponsored driver kept his cool behind the wheel and didn’t push the leaders too hard in the opening race of the weekend.
Keeping the leaders in his sights and the challengers behind at bay, Kiern drove a relatively quiet race and posted the second fastest lap of the race on his way to the chequered flag. Crossing the finishing line in third place, Kiern collected his maiden BRDC British F3 podium and picked up 24 points!
The second race of the weekend – the reverse grid race – saw Kiern start from the second last row on the grid in 14th place. Never afraid of the challenge, like he proved in British F4 last year when he won from the last row, Kiern got away from his starting spot and was instantly on the attack.
Overtaking on all corners of the track and picking off cars as they battled with one another for positions, Kiern had gained five positions on the opening lap of the race and was already inside the top-10 in 9th place.
However, Kiern’s assault was briefly halted due to a safety car period but when action resumed Kiern was back on the offensive. A brilliant move past race one pole sitter, Novalak, at Agostini put Kiern in 8th place and right on the gearbox of Wright, keeping the momentum rolling Kiern pulled off a fantastic move as he switched from the outside to the inside of Wright at Oggies to take 6th place.
Pushing hard, Kiern was now behind 5th place Azman, and Kiern put a brief pause on his charge to the front of the field. Working with Azman, the two were able to catch the 4th-placed Frederick and starting the fifth lap, Kiern made his move.
A huge lunge from Kiern heading into turn two’s hairpin, Kiern looked to have pulled off an incredible move but just as the move looked to have been pulled off and with no damage or contact, Kiern’s front wing slightly touched Azman, breaking the left half of the wing.
Kiern’s wing then broke off completely heading down the Bentley Straight and into Brundle. Kiern, who was still battling hard, locked up and took a trip across the grass and this resulted with Kiern coming into the pits for a new front wing and his hopes of a strong result were over.
Returning to the race, Kiern crossed the finishing line in a disappointing 13th place to pick up 4 points but knew the pace was there for a lot more.
The final race of the weekend saw Kiern line the grid from 4th place, and he managed to maintain his 4th place off the line and heading through turn one. Down to the turn two hairpin, he was pressuring Hoggard and Verhagen for 2nd and 3rd place.
However, Hoggard and Verhagen were in a battle themselves and their fight saw Hoggard move across the track to defend from Verhagen, pushing Verhagen onto the grass before turn two. As Kiern looked to take advantage and go around the outside of Hoggard at the hairpin, Verhagen who was skidding across the grass, came back onto the race rack and took Kiern and Hoggard out of the race with him.
A disappointed Kiern was able to jump out of his car but knew that he could have converted his strong starting position into another podium at Snetterton.
“Ultimately, it was a disappointing weekend. I feel I showed that we had a very strong car here and maybe had enough in the tank to get a win. We finished on the podium Saturday and I was saving tyres in the race so Sunday should have been the day to really push. I made good progress in race two but made the slightest touch with Azman and that was enough to break the front wing. The final race I was caught up in somebody else’s mess and couldn’t do anything to avoid it, so that’s very frustrating.
“My first British F3 podium and the pace we showed all week means there’s a lot of positives to take away from this weekend and take to Silverstone.”
A three-week break sees BRDC British F3 resume on June 8-9 where Kiern will be looking to get himself on the podium once again.