Epping’s Ayrton Simmons remains hot on the heels of British Formula 4 Championship leader Kiern Jewiss after securing a podium finish at a wet Knockhill Circuit on Sunday to follow up his victory in the earlier reversed-grid race.

Simmons registered a sixth-placed finish in race one before leading from the front in challenging conditions to take home the win in the second race.

In an impressive drive, the Essex driver started on pole and never looked likely to surrender his lead as he secured a fourth victory of the season.

He was quick to hail his JHR Developments team for helping him register his fastest ever lap at the circuit, a time of 56.288, and for setting the car up to flourish in the wet.

In race three, meanwhile, Simmons registered a third-placed finish after surpassing Arden duo Jack Doohan and compatriot Seb Priaulx to finish on the podium.

He also battled wheel-to-wheel with his title rival in the fight for third spot, briefly making contact at a hairpin on the sixth lap before capitalising on Jewiss’ mistake of running too wide on the following lap to reclaim the final podium place.

That set of results mean the 17-year-old sits 31 points adrift of top spot in the championship, with fellow Brit Jewiss having to make do with a fourth-placed finish in what could prove to be a huge psychological turning point as the season enters the final straight.

Simmons’ exploits saw him cut into Jewiss’ overall lead with just two races of the calendar remaining, ahead of the penultimate round at Silverstone next month.

Reflecting on another encouraging weekend, Simmons told the FIA Formula 4 website: “I’m really pleased. We weren’t that quick in the wet on Friday so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the team gave me the best car I’ve ever had in the wet and that made life easy for me.

“I had the advantage of the best visibility but it was tricky at times to lead the way as you never know where the grip will be but it was okay once I got into a rhythm.”

He added: “It’s good points in the championship with Kiern having opened up a bit of a gap, and we’ll give it our best to try and outscore him again.”