Jewiss extends Porsche Carrera Cup lead as BTCC supports battle the heat

The on-track racing at Snetterton in the TOCA support series was just as hot as the sweltering conditions which the drivers and teams endured last weekend. Kiern Jewiss took another win to extend his Porsche Carrera Cup points lead as British F4, Ginettas and JCW Minis were also in action.

Jewiss extends Porsche Carrera Cup lead as BTCC supports battle the heat

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB title fight had been supremely close this season but Kiern Jewiss has now extended his advantage to a gargantuan 13 points after winning at Snetterton last weekend.

While he may have started from pole and emerged as the victor, that only tells part of the opening race’s story. First off, the Team Parker Racing driver made a slow start and lost the lead to Gus Burton, but did emerge ahead having run three-abreast for second at Riches with Theo Edgerton and Josh Malin.

Jewiss soon started closing on Burton, who was aiming for another win after taking his and Century Motorsport’s first Carrera Cup success at Knockhill last time out, and was putting him under pressure when the safety car was called following a dramatic crash for Nigel Rice, who was tipped into a roll by Ian Loggie, the British GT leader making his debut.

When the safety car pitted, Jewiss resumed his attack and his pressure paid off as he took a tighter line through Agostini and snuck ahead at Hamilton. But Jewiss was still not assured of the win as he was given a five-second track-limits penalty, which initially demoted him to fourth. However, a successful appeal from Team Parker revealed insufficient evidence of the errors and he was given the win back.

There were no such problems for Matty Graham in the partially reversed-grid race. Drawn on pole, he banished the memories of his startline crash at Knockhill – an accident he is still suffering a leg injury from – by leading the race throughout.

“It was the first time I’ve ever been injured in an accident – you can feel invincible and the hardest thing was confidence,” admitted the Redline driver, who said he was “overthinking” the starts, keen to avoid a similar incident.

Richardson Racing stand-in Malin did challenge Graham off the line but then fell behind Edgerton at Wilson. The order then remained that way to the flag, with Jewiss taking fourth.

It was a disappointing weekend for Jewiss’s main rivals as Adam Smalley picked up a penalty for passing Will Martin when he ran wide at Brundle behind the safety car in the opener, while a late spin for Martin at Coram meant the pair were classified sixth and seventh and therefore down race two’s order.

Josh Rowledge fought back from poor qualifying to win frantic Ginetta Junior finale

Josh Rowledge fought back from poor qualifying to win frantic Ginetta Junior finale

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

The Ginetta Juniors were at their brilliant best at Snetterton as series leader Josh Rowledge fought back from a poor qualifying to claim the final victory.

Rowledge lined his R Racing car up 11th and ninth for the first two races, and had to be patient while others had their moments in the (scorching) sun. In the first race, that proved to be Elite Motorsport’s Will Macintyre, who pulled off a brilliant move on Harri Reynolds around the outside of Turn 3 on the final lap, then had to fend off a last-ditch bid by Fox Motorsport’s pole winner Liam McNeilly – by 0.042 seconds!

Kanato Le had been turfed out of the lead in that one at the esses by Sonny Smith, who was excluded for his troubles, but the Japanese bounced back in race two to take his Elite car to victory. A penultimate-lap Turn 3 bid on Le sent Macintyre sideways and Reynolds off in avoidance, so it was McNeilly who again claimed second.

Rowledge had been sixth in race one and fifth in the sequel, but he and Macintyre (from 10th on the grid) starred in Sunday’s live TV thriller. Rowledge moved in front on lap four when he peeled a gap open at Riches to pass Le. On the seventh tour of nine, Smith passed Rowledge at Riches, then McNeilly moved in front, and then Macintyre – four leaders on one lap!

Finally, Rowledge got back ahead to beat Macintyre. McNeilly’s bid at the last corner to deprive Le of third was rather clumsy, let Reynolds through to beat both, and got himself penalised down to sixth.

Alex Dunne has now won nine
British F4 races this season

Alex Dunne has now won nine British F4 races this season

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

Alex Dunne failed to win a race in British Formula 4 at Knockhill but the series dominator returned to form at Snetterton.

The Hitech GP ace took a double pole but did lose out to Georgi Dimitrov at the start of the opener. “After Knockhill, I was a little bit scarred and didn’t want to stall again,” Dunne admitted after his Scottish struggles.

Dunne did not stay second for long, however, as a brilliant move around the outside of Turn 3 netted him the lead and he went on to win from Dimitrov and closest title challenger Oliver Gray.

That race’s paltry 3.1-second winning margin was obliterated in the finale when the Irishman maintained his lead at the start and triumphed by just over 10s over Gray, who passed Dimitrov at the Wilson Hairpin, having initially fallen behind.

Joseph Loake, one of the Scottish victors as Dunne suffered, won the reversed-grid middle contest. The JHR driver got a great launch but was boxed in by front-row starters Oliver Stewart and Louis Sharp. Things did then open up for Loake at Wilson with the two in front tangling and running wide, enabling him to dive through, and he stayed ahead to the flag. Dunne was sixth and has therefore extended his lead to 66 points. Normal service is resumed.

Two more wins for James Kellett in Ginetta GT4 Supercup before Tom Emson (l) prevailed

Two more wins for James Kellett in Ginetta GT4 Supercup before Tom Emson (l) prevailed

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

Eighty-three points. It is an incredibly impressive championship lead to enjoy after just four events but that is the position James Kellett finds himself in after the latest Ginetta GT4 Supercup weekend at Snetterton.

The Century Motorsport driver won the first two races at a canter, although did admit to feeling the pressure from Aston Millar (DTO Motorsport) in the opener. The target was to then take it to 10 wins for the season in the partially reversed-grid finale, but he found an obstacle in the shape of Tom Emson.

The Elite racer brilliantly grabbed the lead on the first lap from Darren Leung, putting new tyres on the left of his car to give him the grip to run side-by-side through Coram, giving Emson the inside at Murrays. Kellett, having started fifth, was up to second by the end of lap three, 4.6 seconds behind Emson, but was unable to sufficiently close the gap, leaving a delighted Emson to win.

“The first lap was perfect!” he said, adding of his super pass: “The last race I could close up to him through there and I thought, with the new tyres, I would make it stick.”

Second was Kellett’s worst classified finish but, with closest challenger Millar grinding to a halt with a few laps to go, the lost five points are of little concern.

Just 0.016s separated Alex Denning (l) and Jason Lockwood at the flag in JCW Mini Challenge

Just 0.016s separated Alex Denning (l) and Jason Lockwood at the flag in JCW Mini Challenge

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

A week after classic Minis put on a thrilling show at the Brands Hatch Mini Festival, their modern counterparts also provided great racing at Snetterton with the second bout ending in a photo finish.

Former Irish Fiesta champion Alex Denning has clearly now got to grips with the JCW machines and continued his good form from Knockhill last time out, where he claimed his maiden series win. He also led throughout the opener in Norfolk but had to work far harder for his win in race two.

Denning’s first challenge in the second contest came from his Graves Motorsport team-mate Lewis Brown, who was back at the front after a run of terrible luck in the opening rounds. Brown got a great start and attempted to pass both Denning and points leader Sam Weller around the outside of Turn 3, but was only able to sneak ahead of Weller. That did not last for long as Weller reclaimed the place around the outside of Brundle before Brown’s retaliation at Agostini on the following tour ended in contact and damage for Brown, while Weller superbly saved the slide.

All of this meant Denning was beginning to pull slightly clear up front, his margin at 1.6 seconds. But Weller soon negated that and was diving one way then the other in his attempts to pass at Riches on lap five of 10.

Their battling meant Jason Lockwood and Ronan Pearson were also closing in and, sure enough, Lockwood pounced on Weller at Williams and Weller’s unsuccessful attempts to fight back seemingly put Denning in the clear again. However, with Weller dropping behind Knockhill double winner Ronan Pearson at Agostini, Lockwood was able to focus fully on the leader and zoomed up to the tail of Denning, having closed the 2.2s deficit.

They were right together on the final lap and Lockwood came oh-so-close to grabbing the win after a brilliant run through Murrays, but Denning held on by just 0.016s after a brilliant race. Denning’s opening victory was more straightforward as he led away from pole, although second-placed Weller did suddenly close in the final stages. “I just made a mistake under the bridge but it’s very difficult to follow in the extreme heat and I was clever in the way I positioned my car,” explained Denning.

Jack Mitchell (JW Bird Motorsport) led throughout the partially reversed-grid finale, having been drawn on pole, although Lockwood did put him under pressure after passing Pearson into Riches at the start. Denning was then denied a strong end to the weekend when his front-left tyre detached itself at Riches on the final lap when he was running third, promoting reigning champion Dan Zelos to the podium.

Weller was ‘only’ fifth in that one and was shuffled back to sixth in race two – his worst 2022 result – but he still leads the way by 51 points and is in prime position to steal the crown from Zelos.

Reports by Stephen Lickorish and Marcus Simmons. Photography by Jakob Ebrey Photography/Motorsport Images. Want more reports from the world of national motorsport? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport with Autosport magazine

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