Kiern Jewiss maintained his front-running form in the BRDC British F3 Championship as the 18-year-old claimed two top-five results at Donington Park to occupy third in the championship standings.
QUALIFYING Once again, Kiern showed supremely consistent pace throughout qualifying to lap within the top-five.
As the session progressed, Kiern was never any more than two tenths away from pole position and had set two lap times more than good enough to maintain that top-five position with his best lap securing him fifth on the grid for race one and his second-fastest time a second-row starting spot of fourth for race three.
“There was still some time to be found in the car but I could be happy with the two qualifying results, they put us firmly in the mix for both races and gave me a good chance to keep the points tally growing.”
The opening race of the weekend was all about keeping out of trouble. During the first lap of the race, Kiern lost fifth place to Piers Prior but kept in touch with the 22-year-old for the duration of the race. As cars in front ran into trouble, Kiern was able to regain fifth after Frederick tumbled down the order.
From there, it was a smooth and controlled drive to the finish to take fifth place and 19 points in the championship. Kiern was in contention for the final podium spot, finishing just 1.5s behind Maini in third and eight tenths behind Prior in fourth.
“Another 19 points is a good haul from the first race. It was a relatively straightforward drive, I held position at the safety car restart and then capitalised on Frederick’s mistake to get back to fifth. After that it was being sensible and keeping up with the cars ahead and not taking any unnecessary risks.”
Starting from fourteenth for the reverse-grid race - and with the weather having taken a dramatic turn for the worse - Kiern once again displayed a strong level of foresight to keep himself out of trouble and bank yet more valuable points.
With visibility extremely poor as the race got underway, Kiern was rightly cautious as he contested the opening tour. Having dropped two places to sixteenth, Kiern quickly set about recovering the lost ground.
As the race approached the halfway mark, the Conway-backed driver had climbed four places to rise to twelfth on the road and gained a further two places to tenth with eight minutes remaining on the clock. Kiern then began to duel with Prior for tenth place as the pair swapped positions several times over the following laps.
As the chequered flag flew, Kiern crossed the line twelfth place having lost ground in the closing couple of laps.
“The second race was a tricky one with the weather. It was difficult to see through the spray of the other cars for pretty much the whole race so it was important to just keep it on the road. I climbed a few places and had a pretty good battle with Prior until he spun off but then just lost a couple of places at the end.”
For the third and final race of the weekend, Kiern lined up fifth on the grid and made up ground on Foster at the start to gain fourth place.
He had dropped back from the developing squabble for the podium but quickly caught back up to Skelton and Maini. He then had to fend off a charge from Foster and Varrone as a five-car fight for second place had emerged.
In the ensuing battle, Kiern was running in fourth place and was within striking distance of the two cars ahead of him. As the last lap began, Skelton and Maini’s scrap looked set to allow Kiern a clear chance to swoop past both cars but he was denied the opportunity as he ran wide over the chicane at the Foggarty Esses and conceded fourth place to Varrone.
“The racing in this one was great fun. I was disappointed to lose out on fourth at the end, especially as the podium was well within reach, but another fifth place still helps the scoreboard. We can be pleased with all the points this weekend but we know there’s still some work to be done to find that extra bit of pace we need ahead of Brands Hatch.”
Kiern’s season will resume on the weekend of August 29-30 when the BRDC British F3 Championship heads to his home circuit of Brands Hatch GP, where the 18-year-old has tasted success with a victory at last year’s meeting and two further podiums and a win during his title-winning British F4 campaign.
Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography.