Kiern increases championship lead at Silverstone
Kiern Jewiss extended his lead in the British F4 Championship battle to 62 points after a fantastic weekend at Silverstone saw the youngster take three trips to the podium to collect a total of 51 championship points.
- Finished Friday’s practice sessions with the second fastest time of the day
- Qualified in 2nd place for races one and three, missing out on pole by just 0.012 and 0.003 seconds
- Starting on the front row for race one, Kiern remained in the runner-up spot all race long and took the chequered flag for his first podium of the weekend
- Starting the reverse grid race in 5th, Kiern fell back to 6th place before a dramatic final lap saw him pull off three overtakes to finish in 3rd
- After a difficult first lap in the final race, Kiern fought back from 4th place to finish in 2nd with two sensational overtakes to mark his seventeenth podium finish of the season
- With just three races remaining and 75 points on offer, Kiern will be looking to seal the British F4 Championship at Brands Hatch in two weeks time (29th – 30th September).
Friday played host to the official TOCA test day and that provided Kiern with two forty-minute practice sessions to get up to speed with the 1.64-mile Silverstone National circuit. Despite Kiern being one of only a few drivers to keep his car within track limits, he still managed to end the day with the second fastest time as he finished just 0.052-seconds behind Hoggard.
“Today was a really productive day, we managed to try a lot of things with the car and I think we’ve nailed the setup for tomorrow! The team have done a great job so far and I’m feeling confident heading into qualifying tomorrow morning.”
The weekend’s qualifying session started Saturday’s track action and Johnathan Hoggard set the early pace and as he sat top of the timesheets. Kiern then began his attempts for pole position and gradually got closer and closer but, unfortunately, not close enough for pole position.
His fastest lap time, a 56.969, fell short of pole for race one by just 0.012-seconds and his second fastest lap time, a 56.971, was an even closer, just 0.003-seconds off the first place starting position for race three.
“I wasn’t really thinking about Ayrton or the championship heading out there, I was purely focused on doing the best job I could. The car was so strong and I think that comes down to all the work the team and I did in the recent test as we took a few steps back to now go forward.”
“We could have maybe had a second stab at pole but the red flag came out and I didn’t want to ruin my tyres for the weekend chasing after pole. The focus now is to turn a couple strong starting places into some strong results and increase the championship lead further.”
Lining up from the front row for the first race of the weekend, Kiern followed Hoggard away from their starting blocks and remained with the poleman as the pair drove away from the rest of the pack.
In a race of their own, Kiern never fell off the back of Hoggard’s gearbox for the entire race but he just couldn’t find a way past the Fortec driver for all of the 21 laps. Clearly the quicker of the two drivers, Kiern set the seven fastest laps of the race but, with a championship lead to maintain, he knew that second place was not worth risking and settled for the runner-up spot.
Crossing the line in 2nd place, with rival Ayrton Simmons finishing in 6th, Kiern stretched his championship lead to 41 points and secured 5th place for the reverse grid race – with Simmons starting from pole.
“It was important to go out there and extend my lead, although Ayrton has the reverse grid pole so we’ll have to see what happens there,” he said. “I got close to Johnathan a few times in that one but I wasn’t going to do anything stupid because it’s only the opening race of the weekend and there are still two more to come. It’s important to look at the bigger picture.”
Starting from 5th place, Kiern got a bad start off the line and fell back to 6th place on the opening lap as race one winner Hoggard moved ahead of him. A copy of race one, Kiern spent the entire race trying to pass the Fortec run car and the battle continued until the final lap.
Getting a brilliant run out of Luffield on the penultimate lap, Kiern managed to pull alongside Hoggard on the pit straight and pulled off a courageous move around the outside of Copse and moved himself back into 5th place.
Never the type to think the job is finished, Kiern could see Hauger and Simmons battling ahead of him and as the two drivers ahead went into Brooklands, Simmons was forced wide as Hauger tried to go up the inside into the tight left hander.
This gave Kiern the momentum through the corner and into Luffield, where Kiern was able to perfectly place his car down the inside of the pair. Running three abreast to the finishing line, Kiern managed to cross the line just 0.006-seconds ahead of Simmons to steal third place and finish in front of Simmons for the second time at Silverstone despite Simmons starting 5 places ahead of him.
“I was glad to get ahead of Johnathan with a good move around the outside at turn one and I could see the two ahead had been battling hard,” Jewiss told British F4. “They ran wide out of turn two and I got a run into turn four and they ran wide trying to attack each other.
“When they ran wide, I don’t think Ayrton knew I was there and I got the car up the inside and we ran side-by-side. They tried to squeeze me a bit and we were all racing hard and I came away with third.
“I knew I’d got it when I crossed the line and with Ayrton having started on pole, I expected to lose points. Hopefully, we can now extend the lead a bit further in race three.”
The final race of the weekend saw Kiern back on the front row next to Johnathan Hoggard. Kiern got a strong start of the line and instantly pressurised Hoggard through turn one and into turn two, Becketts. However, Kiern was touched from behind and did well to keep control of his car and only fell back to 4th place – a lucky escape.
This, however, let title rival Simmons through into 3rd place but Kiern remained focused and was soon challenging Simmons for the final podium spot. All over the back of Simmons, Kiern bravely managed to get down the inside at the Luffield hairpin and passed the JHR driver despite being squeezed onto the inside kerb and grass.
Now in 3rd place, Kiern soon caught second place Jack Doohan and pulled off his move of the weekend with a late lunge down the inside of Doohan at Brooklands – a risky move executed perfectly. Kiern, now running back in his starting place, then began reeling in Hoggard and set the fastest lap of the race in the process.
Closing the gap to less than two-tenths, Kiern didn’t manage to get through to take the win but settled for 2nd place to pick up 18 more championship points – whilst rival Simmons retired from the race meaning Kiern extended his lead to 62 points in the title fight.
“It wasn’t an easy race, I got touched from behind at the start and fell back but never gave up. Once I had got past Simmons, I knew I had done enough but the car was so quick it would have been dangerous to play it too safe so made my move on Doohan.”
“A huge thanks once again to Double R for an amazing weekend! We arrived here with a 31 point lead and now we leave with a 62 point lead – it couldn’t have gone much better. I’ve got a good lead in the standings going to Brands now but the job is not done so my approach isn’t going to change and we’ll be pushing just as hard as we have done all season long.”
With just three races remaining, a 62 point advantage and only 75 points left on offer, Kiern heads to Brands Hatch in two weeks time (29th – 30th September) looking to seal the British F4 Championship.