Kiern Jewiss collected his first silverware in the Ginetta Junior Championship this past weekend, finishing on the podium twice at Donington Park.
After an eventful opening weekend at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit two weeks ago, Kiern travelled to Donington Park hoping to continue his development in the Ginetta G40. Kiern displayed excellent pace across testing on Thursday and Friday and found himself near the top of the timesheets at the end of both sessions.
Racking up more miles on the clock, Kiern’s pace continued to improve and when qualifying arrived on Saturday morning, Kiern was confident of notching a good starting position for the weekend’s races. The 15-minute session saw Kiern qualify up in 3rd place, a huge improvement from Brands Hatch, setting up the possibility of achieving a podium finish in only his second race weekend ever in race cars.
Starting on the second row of the grid for the first of the weekend’s races on Saturday, Kiern could see the opportunity in front of him. A poor start for the 14-year old put him on the back foot, falling to fifth position after the first lap.
Kiern then showed his talent and resilience to recover his race, showing his excellent race craft to pass three of his counterparts to claim second place. The result marked a momentous achievement for the 14-year-old, recording his first ever podium in the Ginetta Junior Championship and claiming the winner’s trophy in the Rookies Standings – all achieved in just his third race in cars.
Starting position in race two was determined by the drivers’ second fastest lap time in qualifying, meaning Kiern started this race in second place and on the front row next to Douglas Motorsport teammate, Daniel Harper. The pair got off to a great start and by the end of the first lap had pulled out a 1.2 second gap to the 3rd place car, with Kiern just two-tenths behind the race leader.
An incident on lap 2 brought the safety car out and reduced the gap to the trailing pack. When the safety car pulled in, an onrushing car attempted an optimistic move on Jewiss only to make contact with the Douglas Motorsport driver – leaving Kiern’s front end heavily damaged and ending his race.
The final race of the weekend was the feature race, shown live on ITV 4, where Kiern had to start way down in 13th place due to his earlier DNF. With several more experienced drivers lying further ahead, Kiern required an impressive display to trouble top of the leader board,
A fantastic start for Jewiss saw him fly from 13th to 6th in just one lap. Before long, Kiern was on the back on the 3rd and 4th place running #20 Wood and #27 McKenna. An amazing battle between Kiern, Wood and McKenna followed with Kiern fighting vigorously to get passed the two drivers. Kiern had made his way through the pack and was now in 3rd place, hunting down the race leaders, #23 Gamble and #33 Harper.
The penultimate lap saw Kiern gather great momentum running down the home straight – right onto the tail of teammate #33 Harper. Heading into turn one, Kiern managed to pull alongside his teammate, getting the inside line for the corner and snatching second place! As the drivers crossed the line for the final lap, Kiern was now only 0.112 seconds behind race leader #23 Gamble and was doing everything he could to get passed and pushed the JHR Developments driver right until the chequered flag.
Kiern crossed the line to take his second, second place of the weekend and his second first place rookie – as well as the race’s fastest lap. Four trophies to add to the collection and a race performance that will go down in his memory as one of his best to date!
Kiern Jewiss, Ginetta Junior Championship: “It was an amazing weekend! To pick up my first podium was a great start to the weekend and to bounce back after a disappointing race two is always positive. I felt hard done by in race two but just had to show my composure to come through the field from 13th to 2nd in the final race and had so much fun in doing so. A massive thanks to Douglas Motorsport for producing such a great car and to my driver coach Kieren Clark who has done such an amazing job helping me understand the car in such a short amount of time!”
Kieren Clark, Head of MB Partners Young Driver Academy: “We’ve always known Kiern is a quick driver and one of the best at his age. It was about trying to get him to understand the car and giving him confidence when he’s behind the wheel so he could push it right to the limit. In testing, Kiern was getting quicker every time he got into the car and now it seems we almost have him performing at his best.”
Next Up: Now sitting 7th in the Championship Standings, next up for Kiern is a trip to the fastest circuit on the calendar, Thruxton, at the beginning of May.