Outstanding Jewiss extends Championship lead
Outstanding Jewiss extends Championship lead

As the British F4 season reached its summer break, Kent’s Kiern Jewiss extended his championship lead to 57 points after a fantastic weekend at Croft saw the 15-year-old secure one win and two second places.

Heading into a British F4 race weekend with the championship lead for the first time this year, Kiern Jewiss had no intention of losing his first place in the standings as the series moved onto Croft for the fifth round of the season.

The weekend started on Friday with the weekend’s two practice sessions at the 2.12-mile circuit and Kiern finished both of the practice sessions in second place but was within a tenth of the fastest man in both of Friday’s sessions despite not feeling entirely happy with the car.

“It was a pretty tough day for us,” explained Jewiss. “We’re just missing a little bit in sector three. We need to work hard on it overnight. I cannot quite get my head around it at the moment, but we’ll analyse all the data we’ve got and see what happens tomorrow.”

“We’ve made a step forward with the car and my driving since the test here earlier in the month so that’s all positive. If we can get on top of sector three then we might end up with a tenth on the rest of the field. It feels good coming into the weekend leading the championship, but I want to leave here still leading it and finish the season on top too!”

Qualifying

After extremely close times in practice, qualifying looked set to follow in the same fashion as Jewiss, Hauger and Tonteri battled for pole position at the Yorkshire circuit. Kiern, the Double-R star, eventually had to settle for 2nd place with his fastest time of 1:21.039, just 0.038-seconds off poleman Dennis Hauger. Kiern’s second fastest time was again narrowly just short of pole position as he had to settle for 3rd place, just 0.068-seconds off pole.

“It was a really close fight in qualifying and it will be in the races,” said Jewiss. “It’s so close between the top three. We made a bit of a step in sector three thanks to our work overnight, but there is still a little more to find.”

“We need to get a really good start and manage the cold tyres better than the others to take advantage at the beginning. If I cannot get by Hauger at the start it’s going to be a close race with me sat behind him, trying to fashion an overtake as the race progresses.”

Race One

Grid: 2nd, Race: 2nd

With the championship lead at the forefront of Kiern’s mind, race one was a dramaless race as Kiern and poleman Dennis Hauger set off into the distance – leaving the rest of the field behind in their mirrors.

Kiern, who only gave one attempt to take the lead of the race, stayed behind the Arden car of Hauger and never fell more than seven-tenths behind. With championship rival Simmons way down in the order, Kiern knew a runners-up spot would be more than sufficient to stretch out his championship lead and crossed the finishing line in second place – just half a second behind Hauger and a huge ten seconds in front of Pasma in third.

“I was thinking about the championship in that race. There was no point in pushing for something when perhaps the pace wasn’t quite good enough to pull off a straightforward overtake.”

“We looked after the tyres well which should help us tomorrow. We’ve got to keep our nose clean and try to pick up as many points as we can. I was hoping we would be able to push on and create a gap back to the field. It made things easier for me as I didn’t have to worry about guys attacking from behind.”

Race Two

Grid: 5th, Race: 1st

Starting the reverse grid race from 5th place, Kiern immediately took fourth place from title rival Simmons as the JHR Developments driver encountered a technical problem. Stealing another place from Pasma on the first lap, Kiern was already up into third place by the end of the first lap.

On lap four of the race, Kiern made a bold late-lunge down the inside of teammate Tonteri at Tower Bend to move into the second place and on the hunt of poleman Jonathan Hoggard.

Immediately on the tail of Hoggard, Kiern was pushing Hoggard and Tower Bend proved to be the scene of the race winning move. Boldly running to the outside, Kiern got fantastic traction and shot into the lead of the race with a fantastic move.

Once in front, it was plain sailing for Jewiss. Even a Safety Car to recover Patrik Pasma’s Arden-prepared car after a tangle with Hoggard at the hairpin couldn’t thwart him. Jewiss mastering the restart and winning by a margin of 3.554s from Tonteri.

“I just got my head down and cracked on with the task I had in front of me,” said a composed Jewiss. “I tried to get past Paavo at Sunny In but couldn’t quite pull it off. Then I had a go at him into Tower Bend from about five lengths back. It just took a bit of determination to pull off the move. Once I caught Johnathan I noticed he was lifting quite early into the corner so I went around the outside of him. I locked up a little, but got in front.”

“When I was in the lead I felt very comfortable. Then the Safety Car came out so that mixed things up again. I nailed the restart and built up the gap I needed while managing the tyres really well on the way to my fifth win of the season. It feels great and to extend my championship lead feels even better.”

Race Three

Grid: 3rd, Race: 2nd

For the final race of the weekend, Kiern started from the second row of the grid in third place and got a brilliant start of the line and swooped past teammate Tonteri to move into second place.

Again, it was a case of picking up a good points haul for Kiern and with Hauger looking quick, Kiern was happy to stay behind the Arden driver – who was running two new tyres compared to Jewiss’ used set of four.

Keeping hot on his tail through the whole race, Kiern crossed the finishing line in second place to collect 61 points from a possible 75 to extend his championship lead to 57 points.

“For me it was always going to be a tricky race to win because Dennis had two new tyres for this race,” explained Jewiss. “As much as I would have like to have taken the win I just don’t think it was really on the cards. I got a good start to maximise my chances of taking a place into turn one, which I did by going down the inside of Paavo.”

“I pushed as hard as I could today. We got the win earlier and I’m happy with all the points we’ve scored this weekend. Two second place finishes and a win is a really strong weekend. It contributes to the excellent foundation we’ve created to fight for the championship from in the second half of the season.”

“It’s definitely been a pretty good first half of the season. I’ve performed well and now we can look forward to the second half of the year having pulled away in the lead of the chase for the title.”

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost now goes on its annual summer break, with action resuming in five weeks at Snetterton on 28/29 July.

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