Kiern Jewiss enjoyed a successful weekend at his home circuit of Brands Hatch as the 18-year-old claimed four top-five finishes to now occupy second in the championship standings.
QUALIFYING Kiern has been one of the BRDC British F3 Championship’s most consistent contenders and that was proved once more in qualifying, where Kiern qualified in the top-five for the third race weekend in succession.
With mixed weather conditions overnight and into the morning, the track evolved heavily throughout the session but Kiern lapped within the top-six throughout. With several drivers improving in the very last moments of the session, Kiern crossed the line on his final lap to slot into second place before being pipped by three other cars and finishing the session in fifth.
“It was anyone’s guess on how qualifying would finish up - the times were constantly changing, especially at the end with how much the track was evolving. The margins were very small as well so it was a bit frustrating to drop down but fifth was still a strong place to start from."
The first race of the weekend saw Kiern continue to display the level of consistency that has been the story of his season so far.
Despite being jumped by Foster at the start, Kiern held firm in fifth place after Hijjawi retired ahead. The safety car was deployed soon after as Frederick found the barriers at Surtees corner. From there, Kiern continued to maintain fifth place - dropping back slightly from Foster to use the clear air in a bid to push for a good starting position for the fourth race of the weekend.
“The first race was relatively straightforward. There wasn’t much in terms of drama from my side so it was just about bringing the car back. It’s difficult to pass here so I tried to look ahead and set a few quick laps for the race four grid.”
The second race saw a vintage Kiern Jewiss overtaking show as he made a series of decisive passes throughout the race to climb the order from tenth on the grid to fifth place at the chequered flag.
Making up three places on the opening lap alone, the FM Conway-supported driver joined a train of cars circulating behind Hijjawi in the early stages of the race. As the race ticked over to its fourth lap, Kiern found a way past Pedersen to move up to sixth and then made full use of Hijjawi’s costly mistake on lap five to slot into fifth, where he would remain for the rest of the race.
“I had some good fun in the second race. I made it past a few cars on the first lap which was crucial as track position is so important here and that meant I could get further up the road to make more progress later on. Following Pedersen for a few laps, I got close enough to make a move stick and then kept within reach of Hijjawi but the move on him was made easier as he made a mistake.”
Heading into Sunday, Kiern lined up fifth for the third race of the weekend. A superb start saw him gain a place to fourth off the start line before a safety car and eventual red flag followed to clear the track after a variety of incidents.
Kiern lined up from his original slot of fifth for the restart and quickly settled into a groove following Chaimongkol. By mid-race, Kiern had dropped back from the Thai driver to create a 1.5s second gap and once again turn his attention to the grid order for race four. At the end of the race, Kiern crossed the line to record his third consecutive fifth-place finish of the weekend.
“I made a good getaway in the first start and tried to replicate that in the second but couldn’t quite manage it. As the race went on, it became pretty clear that the positions weren’t going to change very much so I decided to focus on the lap times again for race four but kept myself within reach of Chaimongkol should anything have happened up ahead.”
Lining up sixth on the grid for the final race, Kiern made another good getaway from the lights and was immediately passed a slow-moving Simmons and also made his way up past Horsten to settle into fourth place.
After a brief safety car period, the remaining seven laps of the race were spent hunting down Foster ahead, as Kiern trailed the fellow Brit by no more than 0.7s but was unable to make his way through. From there, Kiern kept his nose clean to round off the weekend with a fourth-place finish and 21 more points in the championship.
That means Kiern now sits a firm second in the drivers’ standings, 29 points behind Maini and 18 points ahead of Skelton in third.
“I felt like the start went well, we all managed to avoid Simmons luckily and I also gained another place on Horsten as he was slow off the line too. I kept the pressure on Foster and looked for any chance to make a move but the chance never came so I just took it easy to take the fourth place and the points with it. It was a consistent weekend with lots of points scored so I hope we can carry that on next time.”
Kiern will now enjoy a two-week break before the series heads back to Donington Park for the fourth round of the championship - and the second of three visits to the Leicestershire circuit this season - on the weekend of 19/20 September.
Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography.