KNOCKHILL PREVIEW: Jewiss out to maintain advantage

21 AUGUST 2018: Having seen his lead at the head of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost standings almost halved when the 2018 season resumed at Snetterton following the traditional summer break, Kiern Jewiss was a happy man when the field headed away from Rockingham for the final time less than two weeks ago.

A strong performance on track for the Double R racer allowed him to extend his advantage back out to 45 points to ensure that he makes the long trip to Knockhill this weekend (25/26 August) as the driver that everyone else is trying to catch.

Whilst Jewiss was able to take his podium tally to an impressive 14 for the season at Rockingham, round seven of the year proved to be a tough one for JHR Developments driver Ayrton Simmons, although he remains second in the championship standings.

Having taken points off Jewiss in the opening race in Northamptonshire, Simmons then failed to finish race two before a grandstand finish to race three saw him lose out on a podium to Jewiss on the final lap.

Whilst that strengthened Jewiss’ position at the top, Simmons will certainly be no slouch in Scotland and will eager to try and replicate the results he secured twelve months ago, when his Knockhill weekend featured a brace of podium finishes.

Behind the top two, the three leading rookies on the grid – Arden’s Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan, and Double R’s Paavo Tonteri – continue to give chase.

Whilst Hauger remains third overall, it was Doohan who moved into the Rookie Cup lead by just four points after finishing ahead of his team-mate in the first two races at Rockingham, before a clash in race three put both into retirement. It was an incident that also earned Hauger a five-place grid penalty that he will now take this weekend at one of the trickiest circuits on the F4 calendar.

From the high of his Snetterton success, Tonteri meanwhile endured a more challenging weekend at Rockingham to pick up just ten points and now has one eye looking back over his shoulder at fellow Finn Patrik Pasma, who secured his maiden win in the opening race of the weekend.

Like London buses, Pasma didn’t have to wait long for win number two to arrive the same weekend and a huge haul of points allowed him to move up two places in the standings to sixth, ahead of fellow Arden racer Sebastian Priaulx and Fortec Motorsport’s Johnathan Hoggard – who returned to winning ways for the first time since Donington Park.

Three points finishes, and a first rookie win, for Josh Skelton (JHR Developments) allowed him to retain his ninth place in the standings, whilst his team-mate Manuel Sulaiman climbed into the top ten thanks to three top ten finishes of his own.

Sulaiman was also aided by another luckless weekend for Fortec driver Hampus Ericsson, although the Swede was at least able to end a run of six races without a point in the final race of the weekend.

The fifth rookie on the grid, Sebastian Alvarez (Double R) will be seeking to maintain his recent upturn in form having scored points in four of the last six races, with Fortec’s Lucca Allen and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) close behind after a top ten apiece at Rockingham. Allen however will not race this weekend in Scotland.