Positive pace pays points for Jewiss
Kiern Jewiss got his 2019 BRDC British F3 campaign underway this weekend as the Douglas Motorsport racer picked up three top-ten finishes in the opening round of the year, recording two fourth place finishes and a ninth place to depart Oulton Park fifth in the Drivers’ Championship.
With the long winter break finally behind him, Kiern Jewiss headed to Oulton Park looking to get his 2019 season off to a positive start at the Cheshire track. With a two-day test taking place at Oulton Park in the week leading up to the first round of the year, Kiern and the rest of the field were able to get up to speed with the demands of the 2.692-mile circuit.
The real action then got underway on Saturday with the first official day of the new season. Qualifying kicked off proceedings at Oulton Park and it marked Kiern’s first competitive session in his new championship. Sunshine and high temperatures set the scene for the first qualifying of the year and the challenge of managing the heat was another task for Kiern to think about.
In his maiden F3 qualifying session, Kiern’s fastest time of 1:30.916-minute meant that the FM Conway-sponsored youngster would start the first race of the year from 6th place and his second fastest time meant he would line the grid for race three from 5th place. The competitiveness of this year’s grid was clear to see as second to sixth place in qualifying were covered by just over one tenth of a second.
“It was great to get my first British F3 qualifying underneath my belt and secure two top-six positions for the races. It was a tough session in all honesty and we’re still missing pace in some places compared to our rivals but we’ll keep working hard to change that. Overtaking is tricky here, so it would have been good to be a bit further up the grid but it’s still a good start to the season.”
Race one of the season took place later in the afternoon and the Morgan Bros-sponsored racer’s debut race didn’t get off to an ideal start as he bogged down off the line and fell down the order. Competing for places on the tight and narrow track, Kiern managed to pass Maldonado for 9th place but as he moved across the circuit to secure the place, Kiern misjudged the distance to Maldonado and the pair made contact.
The safety car was then brought out and remained out for several minutes, meaning when the race finally resumed there was less than ten minutes left on the clock. Kiern then kept his nose out of any further trouble and progressed up the order to cross the finishing line in 6th place.
However, after the race, Kiern was given a ten-second time penalty for his contact with Maldonado meaning he was demoted down the order to 9th place but still collected his first top-ten finish and his first points of the championship – as well as recording the third fastest lap of the race.
The second day of racing then took place on Monday and the sun remained out for another hot day in Cheshire. With the second race of the weekend seeing the finishers from race one reversed to set the grid, Kiern started the race from the inside of the third row of the grid in 5th place.
Getting off the line well, Kiern’s strong start put him in a good position and after the first lap had already moved himself up the order to 4th place. Showing strong pace, Kiern was stuck on the gearbox of Maldonado but couldn’t find a way past on the narrow circuit.
Driving maturely, Kiern strategically planned his attacks but no matter how hard he tried to find an opening, Kiern couldn’t get past. Taking the chequered flag in 4th place, Kiern just missed out on the podium places but again recorded the third fastest lap of the race.
Starting the final race of the weekend from 5th on the grid, Kiern got a fantastic launch off the line and took to the inside as the grid flew to turn one. Staying committed to his move, Kiern squeezed down the inside and the BRDC SuperStar moved himself into 4th place.
Now hunting down the leading pack, Kiern was able to get the gap to 3rd place down to as little as half a second but once again, it was near impossible to find a clean way past and Kiern remained on the gearbox of 3rd place until the chequered flag.
Taking another 4th place finish to make it three points finishes from three races, Kiern finished the weekend with a total of 47 points and placed himself 5th place in the Championship Standings departing Oulton Park.
“All in all, a positive weekend. We were consistently quick through the tests and the race weekend which is an encouraging start to the year. Opportunities to overtake on the track were very limited and this meant that qualifying was the determining factor this weekend. To score points in every race and pick up two top-fives is a good foundation to build upon. There’s still lots to improve and lots to learn so I’m excited to get back in the car.”
The next round of the 2019 BRDC British F3 season will take Kiern to Snetterton in less than a month’s time (18 – 19 May).