Kiern Jewiss finishes Winter Series as Vice-Champion
Kiern Jewiss finishes Winter Series as Vice-Champion

Kiern Jewiss ended the two-day Ginetta Junior Winter Series in second place after taking two victories and three podiums at Brands Hatch this past weekend.

The 2017 Ginetta Junior Rookie Champion headed to Brands Hatch in search of the Winter Series title as he reunited with his Douglas Motorsport team for the two-day event. A test session on Friday was followed by two days of: one qualifying session, one fifteen-minute race and one twenty-minute race.

Saturday

Kicking off the action on a wet Saturday, Kiern started his Winter Series in the best possible way as he secured pole position for both of Saturday’s races but Elite Motorsport were showing their strength as they occupied the next six spots on the grid. After picking up points for pole position, Kiern had already put his name on the leaderboard heading into round one.

Starting the day’s first race in dominating fashion, Kiern commanded the sixteen-lap race by leading every single step of the way and taking the chequered flag to complete a fantastic start to the weekend. Knowing he had a long weekend ahead of him however, Kiern remained focused on the task as the later race would prove to be a much more difficult task for the 15-year old.

With lights out at 15:45, rain and darkness descended upon Brands Hatch and Kiern found his starting spot flooded with standing water. Getting a difficult starting with minimal grip, Kiern fell from his pole position into second but remained in the battle for the lead.

Eventually making his way into the lead at turn three on the third lap, Kiern began to stretch out a gap but as visibility worsened Kiern began to struggle. Making a mistake, Kiern lost the lead of the race but got back onto the track to regroup in second. Fighting with Smalley for the race lead for the next ten laps, Kiern got into the swing of things and made the move for the lead stick with three laps to go. Pulling out a healthy gap, Kiern took the race victory to earn two wins in two races – heading into Sunday as the championship leader.

Sunday 

Qualifying again was the first session of Sunday and dry conditions set the scene in contrast to Saturday. With Elite again looking extremely strong, Kiern missed out on pole position for the day’s first race by just four-hundredths of a second but did secure pole for the final race of the series.

Getting a strong start on race three, Kiern was battling for the lead before the safety car neutralised any further attack! When the safety car eventually made its way into the pits on lap three, Kiern fought his way through into the lead of the race and was looking set for another win.

However, Kiern could never escape the clutches of Smalley and was too focused on the pressure from behind. This paid dividends when Kiern made a small mistake, opening the door for Smalley to come through and snatch the win. Crossing the line in second place, Kiern was disappointed but knew starting from pole gave him a great opportunity to redeem himself.

As the lights went out for the final time in the Winter Series, Kiern got a slow start as his grid slot was still wet and lost the lead of the race. Staying behind Smalley through the first few corners the pack then came down into Surtees. However, oil on the track from a previous race saw leader Smalley hit the oil and shoot across the grass. Kiern, unsighted to Smalley’s incident and the oil, went for a tighter line and spun when he hit the oil.

Sat in the track, Kiern was then collected by another driver and, with heavy damage to his car, miraculously managed to drive the car back to 6thplace valiantly but unfortunately the championship was over. Kiern just missed out on claiming the title as he finished the championship in 2ndafter taking three poles, three podiums, two wins and one fastest lap!

Kiern remained positive despite missing out on the title.

“I’m fairly disappointed I didn’t leave here as the Winter Champion but that’s how it goes sometimes. I thought I drove well all weekend, despite a few silly mistakes but I thought I had done enough heading into the last race to win it. It’s really frustrating to lose it on oil on the track, there’s nothing that I could have done to avoid it so I’m fairly gutted.”

“The main thing is I know I have the ability to win races and I now need to focus on 2018, I’ve already been testing with some teams and have shown my pace. I’m really excited for what the future has in store and I’m driven to keep winning races.”

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